From "Slacker" to DFL Representative?

Black Lives Matter St. Paul leader to challenge three-term representative for seat - Rashad Turner plans to challenge Rep. Rena Moran next year. 


The lead organizer for Black Lives Matter St. Paul plans to challenge the only black member of the Minnesota House for her seat in next year’s election. Rashad Turner, 30, said Saturday that not enough progress has been made in St. Paul’s communities of color after three terms of Rep. Rena Moran, DFL, representing District 65. “Organizing for Black Lives Matter, social justice is near and dear to my heart,” Turner said. “It’s something I felt Rena Moran hasn’t attempted to tackle in her three terms.” But Moran said Turner has ignored a record that includes sponsoring bills that directed funds to education initiatives aimed at targeting intergeneration poverty and directing state Department of Health funds toward efforts to reduce high tobacco and menthol use in Minnesota’s African-American communities. “I’m not coming into it fresh and wide-eyed with bright ideas. I’m coming with that experience and knowledge to move forward the agenda we need at this time,” Moran said. “I bring those connections. I bring a community of people with me who have done it who have continued to do it.”
Comment: Re "Slacker"? See earlier post. Rena Moran below.


On Christian "fanatics"

Christianity has had its fanatics. Still, the notion of fanaticism needs to be analyzed. Probably most people think that Christians can be placed on a spectrum between nominalism (Christians in name only) and fanaticism (Christians who are extremely intense about their beliefs and morals). On this scale, we might be most drawn to the middle of the scale, to the nice moderates. The problem is that the scale itself is mischievous. It assumes that Christianity itself is primarily about effort and moral improvement, so that the high-intensity end of the scale is peopled with self-righteous, over-confident, superior, condescending folk who are, at best, terribly off-putting. Yet that is not what Christianity is about. Where one sees that Christianity is being lived out in a fashion reasonably faithful to the Bible's emphasis on salvation by grace, on what God has done for us in Christ and not on what we have achieved, it ought to change everything.
Comment: D. A. Carson. God Who Is There, The: Finding Your Place in God's Story (p. 184). Kindle Edition. Image source

What does Atheism transcendentalize?

... it has also been shown by Alister McGrath in his book on atheism that if you do not have religion to transcendentalize things, you end up transcendentalizing something else. In other words, the act of making something out to be of transcendental importance is not exclusively a function of religion. It may be a function of human desire to control. In the twentieth century, the powerful movements of Nazism and Stalinism were not religiously driven. Some in the Nazi party laid claim to their reconstruction of Christianity, but the purpose was to domesticate Christianity and harness its energies. In reality, what drove the two movements-Nazism and Stalinism-were were distinct visions of reality: on the one hand, the transcendentalizing of ethnicity, a sense of intrinsic Aryan superiority, a hate-filled blaming of Jews and of the Treaty of Versailles; on the other hand, a transcendentalizing of the state grounded in Marxist social and economic theory. So it is not as if religion poisons everything while everything else is good. The century characterized by the greatest bloodshed, the twentieth century, generated most of its violence in movements that were distinctly anti-religious. The world did not lose one-third of the population of Cambodia because of Christianity but because of communism.
Comment: From D. A. Carson. God Who Is There, The: Finding Your Place in God's Story (pp. 183-184). Kindle Edition. I hypothesize that atheism primarily transcendentalizes science.


If your going to fight back ... best to have more than a banana!

Former CIA Director: ISIS Will Strike America

... if not significantly degraded, the ISIS threat to the Homeland will become a direct one—that is, an ISIS ability to plan and direct attacks on the Homeland from the group’s safe haven in Iraq and Syria— just like the group did in Paris last week.

Such attacks are deeply concerning because they carry the potential to be much more sophisticated and complex—and therefore more dangerous—than than homegrown attacks, again just like in Paris last week, or London in 2005, or even 9/11 itself. And, in something that should get everyone’s attention, ISIS has shown an interest in weapons of mass destruction.

“Over time” may be shorter than many think. The attack in Paris was the first manifestation of an effort that ISIS made to put together an attack capability in Europe—an effort that they began less than a year ago. The head of the UK’s domestic security agency recently warned that ISIS is planning mass casualty attacks in Britain. His concerns are well founded. We will not be far behind.
D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier urges public to ‘take down’ active gunman if they can

In a surprising comment, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier is encouraging ordinary citizens to subdue or even kill active gunmen if they can as the “best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

During an interview Sunday on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Chief Lanier was asked what should people do if they are in the vicinity of an active shooter like the ones who terrorized Paris on Nov. 13, The Washington Examiner reported. “Your options are run, hide, or fight,” the D.C. police chief said.

“If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

The District for decades had outlawed handguns until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ban in 2008. Since then, city leaders have enacted restrictive laws that are still being challenged in court by gun owners and pro-gun activists.

Chief Lanier, who has enthusiastically supported the city’s efforts to limit handgun ownership, admitted that her suggestion for the public in the midst of an active gunman does not reflect the longstanding advice offered by many police officials around the country.

“That’s kind of counterintuitive to what cops always tell people, right? We always tell people, ‘Don’t … don’t take action. Call 911. Don’t intervene in the robbery’ … We’ve never told people, ‘Take action.’ It’s a different … scenario,” Chief Lanier said, according to the CBS preview of the interview, the Examiner reported.

Comments: Image source

The above links are current ... just from this week! Terrorists and evil shooters will go for the soft targets that have high impact and shock value.

It's a myth that the cops can protect us ... it can take them 7 minutes or more to arrive. By then much carnage can take place. There is a strong argument to be made for qualified and motivated individuals to have a concealed carry permit and have a weapon!


Judge Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr. : The "whiskey speech"

Judge Noah S. "Soggy" Sweat, Jr. : The "whiskey speech"


My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, this is how I feel about whiskey: If when you say whiskey you mean the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it.

But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman's step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life's great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it.

This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.
Comment: Link has an audio reprised by Mississippi state Rep. Ed Perry on 100th anniversary of opening of the Mississippi state Capitol, as broadcast on public radio. (Duration: 3 minutes 27 seconds). Image source. Note this is a humor piece! Enjoy it in that light!


Qu'ran instructs Muslims to Read the Torah and the Gospels

Quran Surah 5:68


Say, "O People of the Scripture, you are [standing] on nothing until you uphold [the law of] the Torah, the Gospel, and what has been revealed to you from your Lord." And that which has been revealed to you from your Lord will surely increase many of them in transgression and disbelief. So do not grieve over the disbelieving people.
Comment: More: There are many passages in the Qur'an which point specifically to the New Testament writings. The Arabic word for gospel is Injeel and Muhammad lifts up its authority as well  and A Comprehensive Listing of References to Jesus ('Isa) in the Qur'an


Lessons from Abraham Sacrificing Isaac

Genesis 22:11-14
But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!”

So he said, “Here I am.”

And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”

Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”
Comment: Image source: Abraham Sacrificing Isaac (1650), Laurent de La Hyre (1606–1656)

Lessons: Here God teaches His people

  1. That there is no higher test of covenant loyalty than to give up one's beloved son for another (consider John 3:16-17)
  2. That God will preserve the seed of His promise so that it will certainly be fulfilled. 
  3. That a substitutionary offering is nevertheless necessary (Genesis 22:8)
  4. That God thus provides for His people in all of their needs, their greatest being the forgiveness of sins. Cf  Mark 2:8-10