Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Opus 2018-073: Firsts: I Powder My Nose

Not really.  What I did for the first time is use the facilities on an airplane.  All my life I have avoided going into that little room.  It didn’t help when I observed a stewardess get stuck in one.  Finally, due to advancing age and a long flight, I took the plunge.

Picture the coat closet by your front door if you have one.  Or maybe a room that is too small for your refrigerator to open its door.  Picture a sloping ceiling that makes you duck.  Ask yourself, “Where does this go when I flush?”  The mystery box became just one more place I have visited.

Needless to say I lived to tell about it.  I am proud to say it was a success and yes, I did wash my hands.  If you are too delicate to deal with it, I am sorry.  Consider it a chance to know how a snowflake feels when someone says, “Donald Trump”. 

homo unius libri

Monday, March 19, 2018

Opus 2018-072: Headlines: Another Sheriff in Town

According to the Free Beacon another group is emerging to replace ISIS in Iraq.  A few weeks ago that would have been a genuine cause for concern in my mind, but today, not so much. 

I have just finished reading a very thick book called A History of the Arab Peoples by Albert Hourani.  From his name and the way he writes I can only conclude that he is a Muslim.  One of the things that stands out in his sympathetic treatment of the Arabs and Islam is that they have always been tribal in their thinking.  Mohammed had a hard time getting them to follow him because the basic Arab mentality is that of independence and personal freedom.  The only allegiance that perseveres is loyalty to the tribe. 

From the beginning up to the present day the history of the countries with a strong Arab influence has been a constant litany of civil war and military coups.  There have been brief periods where a strong leader has brought them together.  He has usually done this by killing everyone who disagrees with him or at least enough of them to give them the idea it would be better to cooperate. 

So when I hear about a new group and see their white flag with a lion on it I have two reactions:  Here we go again and I am glad I don’t live there.  It is just the drama of a barbaric society based on a feudal approach to politics.  In a feudal system your loyalty is given as an individual to an individual and when one or the other dies then the oaths are voided.  When Genghis Khan died the Mongols went home.  When Tecumseh was killed the Indian alliance fell apart.  When Tito died Yugoslavia splintered.

This is the goal of the race baiters of the left in America.  They want us to have a loyalty to our local “clan” and to hate and mistrust anyone else.  It is part of the thinking behind hyphenated Americans such as Irish-American or African-American. 

So we have a new group of Arabs in Iraq raising their flag because they want to do it their way.  Islam has one thing in common with other forces in history, they would be a real worry if they ever could work together.  They can cause a lot of damage but will eventually run into someone with a blue flag decorated with an tiger.

Hourani, Albert.  A History of the Arab Peoples.  Cambridge:  The
      Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1991.

homo unius libri

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Opus 2018-071: They’re Back

My wife called me to come look.  I never know what that is going to mean so I went in trepidation.  It turns out that she was looking out a window and watching “her” roadrunner.  He was back after being gone for a few months.  And he brought a “friend”.

I thought I would look up “roadrunners” and see if she was solid in her belief that they ate snakes.  What I found really interesting was that the Latin name for the greater roadrunner was Geococcyx californianus.  Evidently that translates as “Californian earth-cuckoo”.  I think that maybe we should replace the bear on the state flag with a roadrunner.  Or perhaps we could print California bonds for the high speed rail with a picture of Moonbeam Brown with the title of “California earth-cuckoo”.

I still have not found out if they eat snakes.

homo unius libri

Friday, March 16, 2018

Opus 2018-070: Firsts: Alligator Bites

Finally.  I have been waiting years to sample alligator.  Texas has everything.

When the kids were still young and we were on a trip we went to an alligator farm in Florida.  We did the tour on the boats with the big propellers.   We threatened to throw the kids out of the boat.  A good time was had by all.  One of the things we were looking forward to, okay, I was looking forward to, was tasting alligator.  They were out.  Can you believe it?  We were at an alligator farm in the alligator state and they were out of alligator.  Why didn’t they just go out and catch another one?  Must have been run by Democrats.

So recently we were in a little hick town in Texas.  This was a stereotype of a dead end trap.  It was the kind of place where every building needed paint and signs were hanging from one corner.  It felt like you were at aUniversal Studios ghost town.  You expected a red-neck lynch mob to come around the corner any moment.  We asked a local where to get a meal and they said, “Blake’s”.  It was a very retro place or it would have been in Dallas.  Here it fit in perfectly but the special of the day was alligator bites.  The menu also had prime rib and frog’s legs.  They brought hot bread to the table as we waited. 

And I finally got my alligator.  Of course, it tasted like chicken.

You never know where you will find things.  It was almost like finding a rational conservative in New York City or a teacher that could think in a public school.

homo unius libri

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Opus 2018-069: New Terms: Robin Hood Drugs, Part 2 of 2

Our society has been conditioned to think that some things are free to us because someone else will pay.  Which brings me to Robin Hood Medications.  We think that there is such a thing as a miracle drug, an elixir that takes the problem away.  Physics and chemistry will not be denied.  When I look at the side effects listed for medications I wonder how we are ever convinced that it would be good to take this stuff.  It is because in the Robin Hood/Welfare way of thinking we believe that all the side effects will apply to someone else.  Sure the generic ibuprofen bottle warns me that I could experience hive, facial swelling, asthma, shock, rash and stomach bleeding.  Acetaminophen is recognized as causing liver problems.  And yet millions of these common pills are taken every day.  I expect that you will be the statistic and I will be the beneficiary.  I want the pain, often caused by irresponsible behavior, to go away, and I want it now.

It doesn’t work that way.  Physics and probability are a dangerous combination.  All medications have side effects.  Even something as readily available as aspirin can cause death in children.  It may be that the side effects are not worth the possible help offered.  Doctors are not gods.  Medications are not elixirs.  All pain cannot be relieved.  All sickness cannot be healed.

And the government cannot take care of all your problems.  Time to grow up.  Time to honestly weigh the benefits with the dangers.  Time to take responsible action and get on with life.  That may mean taking the pill.  It may mean taking the risk.  It may just mean not drinking so much at parties.

homo unius libri

Opus 2018-068: New Terms: Robin Hood Drugs, Part 1 of 2

The welfare mentality is infiltrating our thinking at all levels.  It says that someone else will pay for our wants and needs.  It is a way of passing the buck.  The beginning was innocent enough.  We  buy car insurance just in case.  The rates are established by the company based on competition and actuary tables.  Competition in a free market keeps the prices down and profits reasonable.  The actuary tables predict the chances of a claim being made and limit how low they can go and still stay in business.  Then the government gets involved.  When I was a kid boys paid more for car insurance than girls.  Why?  Because teenage boys had a lot more accidents.  It made sense and made a profit.  We understood.  We may not have liked it, but we understood.  Then the early prototypes of the Social Justice Warriors said, “That is not fair.”  The government stepped in and everyone paid the same insurance.  The science of predicting went out the window.  Everyone’s rates went up, just to be fair.

Apply that kind of manipulation to other areas of life and we end up with the welfare mentality we have now.  We are told that health care is a right not a benefit.  In the pre-welfare world if you wanted health insurance you would need to find a way to pay for it.  That usually meant a better job.  The coverage could come as a benefit because you were a valuable employee.  It could come because you went back to school, got an education and got a job that enabled you to pay for what you wanted.  You could have worked hard, get a promotion and a raise and begun to pay for what you wanted.  Now all you need to do is convince your congressman that it is your right.  He will find a way to meet your “need”.  Enter such programs as Aid for Dependent Children, Medi-cade, Medicare and the ultimate, Obamacare.  After all you deserve it.  And the expectation is that someone else will pay.  Since I am now on Medicare I hope you continue to do your part.

Then you extend that thinking to food, housing and any other dream you have.  If you remember one of the goals of the Obama administration was internet for everyone.   Remember the free phones and the video of the woman wondering where her free gas was.  The one thing that is ignored is that someone has to pay for all this.  When the kids at school would tell me health care should be free, I would ask them who wanted to the be nurse who was working for nothing, or if they didn’t want to get an education, would they volunteer to change bed pans for nothing.  Sometimes they get the idea but they have usually been conditioned to say, “Let the rich pay.”

Welcome to Robin Hood thinking.  In the world of Robin Hood the evil wealthy are robbed so that the deserving poor can be rewarded.  It sounds good until you get the modern system where anyone who has worked hard to get a good job and saved their nickels is defined as rich.  It doesn’t matter.  The government can print money.  Tax breaks are okay as long as it benefits me.  Government subsidies are great as long as I get them.  Don’t try to make me pay for any of this though.

To be continued...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Opus 2018-067: Elections 2018: What Is Democrat for Rino?

I hate to say this but if I believed what I was reading I would have voted for the Democrat in the Pennsylvania special election.  What was there not to like?  He sounded conservative and traditional on the important issues:  Pro gun, pro life, anti-Pelosi.  He was a Dino, a Democrat in name only.  At least he sounded like one.  Time will tell how much of that was hot air and how much was genuine.

My hope is that the Democrats are swinging back to being Americans.  My fear is that they are just learning to lie better.

homo unius libri