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.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Opus 2012-18, Plow and Crown: Internet Shackles

One of the liberty sapping inspirations of congress is their current attempts to regulate the internet.  There is one form of the bill in the House called SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act and one in the Senate called PIPA or Protect IP Act.  Both of them are examples of the Nanny State as the progressives of both parties try to protect us from ourselves and make sure that we make the right choices.  It is another form of that terrifying statement, “I’m from the government and I am here to help you.”

Some of you may not understand what the problem could be.  You like the idea of the government protecting you from those mean and greedy capitalists who are doing everything they can to live high on the hog by charging you too much for your internet service.  You worry about your children having access to pornography and you don’t want hackers stealing your passwords.

Those are legitimate concerns but you need to understand, that is not the real purpose of these bills.  The ultimate goal is to find a way to regulate your access to ideas the progressives don’t like and tax what you do have access to.

This is the kind of control that begins with benevolent and benign noises and slowly strangles you.  Let me give you an example I live with daily.  I teach middle school.  We have internet connections and reasonably fast access to the internet.  If all I want to do is the basic vanilla activities like taking attendance and entering grades, I have all the access I need.  Beyond that it gets tricky.  The school district is worried about children accessing sites that might damage them.  You are probably thinking porn sights but that is only the camel’s nose.  It also limits their access to anything that the flunky who filled out the form decides they should not see. 

What is the problem with that, you say?  Part of the curriculum in seventh grade is the Reformation.  You cannot talk about the Reformation without talking about John Calvin and Martin Luther.  I have the kids do research papers and these are two of the available topics.  When I go to check their sources I am blocked by our district filter.  I am denied access.  Why?  These are sites with religious content.  I am denied access to the required curriculum because someone sitting in an office on his fifth cup of coffee has issues with religion and thinks it could damage the child’s psyche. 

I also have trouble accessing sites that have political content.  How do you teach history without having political content.  It gets better.  In one sense it is hit and miss.  It is impossible to keep up with all the locations of information.  So they limit what they can think of.  It is not scientific but I have noticed the sites from the right politically tend to be blocked more than sites from the left.  Coincidence?  No, perception of evil and your right to know.

I also run blogs to supply parents with information about the class.  I cannot access them or update them from school because anything on blogger is blocked by the filter. 

A second major issue is taxes.  State and Federal tax collectors are going crazy about the internet.  Maybe you have not noticed.  Let's say you buy some shoes from Zappos.  Not only do you get a great price, pay no postage and have easy returns, but you don't pay any sales tax.  In California that comes to about 10%.  How would you like to save 10% on everything you buy?  It would almost make up for the recent cut in my salary, increase in health insurance costs and increase in the income tax withholding.  Almost, not quite.

Yes, the government wants to control your internet.  The word today is that they have backed off.  To paraphrase General MacArthur, "They shall return."

Elections are coming.  They matter.  Vote the suckers out.

homo unius libri


  1. That's the longest blog you've posted for a while. I'm glad you got it off your chest! Sorry about your salary. Bad teachers deserve NOTHING, but good ones deserve more. I get the feeling you're better than good.

  2. Even with a decrease in income I am still much better off than millions of Americans. I can't complain, really.

    And thanks for reminding me about length. Sometimes it is hard to keep it down.

    Grace and peace.


Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.