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.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Opus 2019-032: Flea Market vs Supermarket

I want to thank Powerline for linking to a decent article on Politico about the sudden ending of the meeting between Trump and Kim.  I gave up on Politico soon after it opened because it began to sound more and more like another voice of the left.  And who needs another voice less?  The only reason I went to check it out was because Scott Johnson said it was written by his daughter.  It seemed well balanced which I am generally used on Powerline but not in Politico.

Most of the media tries to make everything Trump does a chance to show how superior they are instead of actually reporting what is happening.  One of the things I like about Trump is that he usually knows what he wants and has an idea of how to get it.  He does not generally get stampeded by the Fake News Network into melting down so they won’t say mean things about him.  He knows that no matter what he does, they will say mean things.  That is their role in life.

The key quote I read a couple of times is “Sometimes you need to just walk away.”  We, as Americans are used to shopping in stores where the price is displayed and that is the price.  You can ask if they have an AAA discount but even that is predetermined.  Trump understands that politics is more like a flea market, swap meet or Middle Eastern bazaar.  The prices are just there to be a starting point.  Part of the dance is to walk away.  Most of us are very uncomfortable with that.  Trump is in his element and we should be glad he is.

So the meeting ended early.  So, big deal.  Trump understands.  Kim understands.  The media is confused, but that is par for the course.  Tomorrow is another day and another deal.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Opus 2019-031: Baby Talk: Balance

My granddaughter is visiting from half way around the world and it is changing mine for a few weeks.  Of course my daughter came with her and I am enjoying time with her but those quiet breakfasts are much different with an infant along.

I find that my priorities are a bit different at this point.  It is great to pontificate on the latest lame excuse for Trump Derangement Syndrom but it is more important to crawl around on the floor.  Blogging is often like the old guy who came over to us as a fast food place and began to tell us “his story”.  It went on and on.  We were polite and listened.  He knew he was talking a long time because at one point he wondered if his wife had got tired of waiting and if he would need to walk home. 

The great thing about the internet is we can write what ever we want and not feel like we are imposing on anyone.  On the internet, relief if just a click away.  That is one reason why I get confused by the idea of cyber bullying.  And if I miss what you have to say it will be there next week unless one of the media censors blokes you.

My granddaughter might be here in a week but she will be a totally different person.  She is on the verge of walking.  We are hoping she will hold off until she gets home with her dad but time waits for no toddler.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Opus 2019-030: Election 2020: Get Your Lists Started

Paul Mirengoff of Power Line gives a quick run down of how the Senate voted on the recent funding bill.  I find it very helpful to find out who is willing to stand on principle.  Only 11 Republicans voted against it.  I was glad to see that Ted Cruz was on the short list but disappointed that John Cornyn voted “yes”.  Those are my two senators.  You might check and see if either of yours made the cut.

I don’t begin to claim to be an expert on legislation but the list of obviously unacceptable provisions included in the bill keeps growing.  I don’t really expect every legislator to read every line of every bill but they have staff that can do it and give them a summary.  Were they all on vacation? 

2020 is coming.  We need to begin watching how people vote now.  We need to begin a list of what we agree on and what we don’t.  I have yet to see Cruz oppose what I think is right.  He may have done so but I haven’t noticed.  I am seeing that Cornyn is not always present in the fight to save America.  I need to remember that in the primaries that are to come.  In the general election Cornyn will almost certainly be better than what the Democrats have to offer but there might be some options in the primary. 

Start watching now so that you will be ready in primary season.  Your state will have different options and you will have different issues.  If you live in Nancy Pelosi’s district then you have my sympathy.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 15, 2019

Opus 2019-029: The Party of Freedom

I have often felt like complaining about how the Republicans can’t stick together and get anything done.  The left tends to maintain discipline.  If the leadership decides the vote should be “no” then the rank and file vote “no”.  It doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong.  It doesn’t matter what they promised or campaigned on, party unity is a priority.  I was impressed and found myself wishing that conservatives working together was not like herding cats.

The recent choir directing by Nancy Pelosi at the State of the Union is making me rethink that a little.  As I watched people who claimed to be Americans sitting unresponsive to all the good news about what has been happening I got a little repulsed by party loyalty.  Maybe one of the strengths of the Republicans is that we have some people who insist on thinking for themselves.  Sure we have our share of elitists and kiss ups but we also have those who stand up for what is right.  It shows we are the party of freedom.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Opus 2019-028: Shame Factor

Should people feel any shame when they use an EBT card or apply for disabled veteran license plates?  The answer is easy:  Yes and no.

A little bit of shame or embarrassment can go a long way to controlling abuse of programs that should be helping those in genuine need.  Why do I refrain from taking the last slice of pizza?  Because my friends will laugh at me and mock me.  It works to make me a healthier person even if I am not really a better person.  If I were close to starving and someone offered me the left over pizza I wouldn’t even hesitate. 

Do you really need the government to take care of you?  Some may be there.  I have been close a few times but either the church or my family have been there for me.  Why were they there for me?  Because they knew me and my need.  Even more because they knew I deserved a bit of help, and because they knew all those things they could tailor there “welfare programs” to make sure that I was strengthened and not destroyed.

If you are paying attention you will recognize that most government programs tend to destroy the people they are supposed to help.  People get used to getting something for nothing.  Their motivation is sapped.  Their good pride is ground up.  They become expectant instead of energized. 

When I was teaching I had to face the annual end of my welfare season.  It came when school started.  I had to go back to work.  Believe me that is hard after kicking back for three months.  If it was hard for me with my well developed sense of responsibility and a record of a solid work ethic, how hard must it be for someone who has had the government hand out checks with no accountability all their lives?

Did I feel a bit of shame when I had to move into my parents home with a pregnant wife?  You bet I did.  I also knew that if I didn’t get my act together I would be out on the street after a time.  It was a great motivator.  Maybe our dependent classes need a dose of that motivation.

It can be done humanely but it can’t be done painlessly.  It must be done.

homo unius libri

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Opus 2019-027: New Seating Chart Needed

I think we need to change the way in which people are arranged for televised speeches.  Most of what the president had to say was old news to those of us who have been listening.  For people sheltered by the liberal press it may have been new but all he did up until the last few minutes was repeated what he has been saying for two years. 

Maybe he got through to some this time.

The reason we need to change the seating is that I get tired of watching the clown show going on behind the president as he speaks.  I had a hard time paying attention to Donald Trump while Nancy Pelosi was acting like a cross between a choir director and a paper monitor.  She was constantly giving hand motions to the Democrat choir.  If you have ever been in a choir you recognize the signal for stand and sit as well as for more volume and cut.  As well as being immature it showed a lack of courtesy and class.  I guess that is another way of saying, “She was acting like a Democrat.”

I wonder if Democrats at home were following those signals.  It would have been fun to sit outside their window and listen to them clapping at certain times.  And I can just hear a  little voice saying, “Why are we standing, Mommy?”

We need a screen behind the president when he speaks.  That way the vice president can pick his nose if he needs to and the speaker can clean her teeth.  Maybe a screen with a big picture of the two looking attentive, perhaps photo shopped from when they were younger.  You might even be able to make it look real by having them make a 20 second loop.  Actually we might need to go for 10 second because of the attention spans we are dealing with.

If rock stars can lip sync their lyrics you would think politicians could fake being polite.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Opus 2019-026: The Big Tweet

I find the polls responding to President Trump’s second State of the Union speech to be interesting, assuming of course that they are not fake news.  It seems that the vast majority of Americans approved of what he had to say.  I have seen numbers as high as 76%.  How do we reconcile that with approval ratings around 50%?  Is all polling a form of fake news?  I wonder if some heads will roll for putting out the numbers without checking with superiors.

I think the difference is that the polls showing approval were immediate responses to the president without any media filters.  This is why it was so important to do the whole show at the SOTU.  One of the strengths this president has is that when he can actually get through to people they like what he as to say.

Of course we need to watch the approval numbers go down as the media massages the ears of the masses.  We have seen it before.  Approval at the moment that gradually drifts to disapproval as they listen to the talking heads of the nightly news with their constant drizzle of lies and distortions. 

But for a moment America got a chance to respond to the man instead of the media message.  Think of it as an hour and a half social media announcement.

Long may he tweet.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Opus 2019-025: Aletheiaphobia

Most people are familiar with the concept of phobia.  We know technical terms like claustrophobia.  If you want to do a little searching you can find all kinds of terms for all kinds of fears.  One that surprised me was aletheiaphobia.  The first part of the term comes from a Greek word for truth, aletheia.  Thus we have a fear of truth.

I should not have been surprised that it is a named problem.  We are surrounded by people who fear and hate the truth.  It could be something as simple as not wanting to admit that you are getting old.  Nothing is more pathetic than the old man with a comb-over, gold medallion and a hairy chest.  The saddest thing about such a uniform is that it makes you look older and robs of any dignity that might come with age.

Of course there are other things people are afraid of learning the truth about.  I am a global warming denier.  If there was a badge and I wore badges, I would wear it proudly.  It doesn’t take a lot of intelligence to deny something that does not exist and that has been plainly demonstrated not to exist.  Actually I do not deny the possibility of global warming.  It has happened many times in a constant cycle all through the existence of the earth.  If it were not for global warming we would still be in the middle of an ice age.  What I deny is anthropomorphic global warming.  It is not caused because I drive a car.  Also notice that I did not say “climate change denier”.  Climate change is one of those silly terms that really means weather.  It is always changing.

Fear of truth is grounded in the desire to have everything the way you want it.  Life does not work that way.  I don’t care how much you want it, if you have an X and a Y, you are male.  If you have two X’s, you are a female.  Fear and denial does not change reality.  Lazy people tend to live in poverty.  Hasty people tend to make mistakes.  Tall people do not fit in sports cars. 

Some people will not go to see a doctor because they are afraid they might find out there is something wrong.  Some won’t read the nutrition label because they might find out how many calories are in their cupcake.  That funny noise in the engine goes without being checked.  That funky smell coming from the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator is not explored. 

Truth will not go away.  I guess to many that will not make much difference because it is more secure living in the dark.  Might I suggest that not paying attention to how your city council is voting can come back to bight you.  Believing the half truth in the news can ruin your future.

I don’t think Demosthenes ever found his honest man.  We might never find all the truth we need.  We should keep looking anyway.

homo unius libri

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Opus 2019-024: New Age or Christian

As I have said before, the basic point of philosophy that divides the children of God from the rest of the world comes down to our view of the human nature.  What is the basic character of a newborn before all the influences of life start to mold it?  Modern new age thinking and the basic tenet of education is that people are at worst a blank slate.  In reality they believe that people in their innermost beings are good and any problem is created by society.  Christians can accept the complications thrown in by environment but believe that the basic human nature is flawed.  One term for this is “original sin”.  Another name is “depravity”. 

It makes a difference in how you put your society together.

Original sin was not a matter of Adam and Eve having an argument.  It was not Adam getting mad at a rock when he stubbed his toe.  It was not a simple mistake.  Original sin was a deliberate rejection of the clear instructions of God.  It was a refusal to submit to the authority of God.  It is the basic difference between those who accept creation as an act of God and those who believe that today is just the result of a lot of random events.

It makes a difference in how you put your society together.

It makes a difference in how you plan your day.

It makes a difference in how you treat other people.

Excuse the soapbox.  I am going down this path because of the repeated expectation of Proverbs that we can live upright and righteous lives and how there are so many who deny that.  There are Christians who deny its is possible.  There are non-Christians who redefine what it means.

It makes a difference.

homo unius libri

Friday, February 1, 2019

Opus 2019-023: A New Brand of Flakes

Jeff Flake is out of the senate.  Unfortunately his mantle has been assumed by Mitt Romney.  Actually it is a mixed blessing.  It could be worse.  He could be president.  I must say I have never been more glad that Mitt Romney is not President. 

I always felt he would have been at least competent and by Washington standards was reasonably honest.  If he had been running against Trump I would have voted for him.  Since being elected to the Senate and putting distance between himself and Trump I have learned that I was as wrong about him as I was about Trump.  My opinion of both has changed.

Positions of power have an almost irresistible power to corrupt.  People tend to start thinking they are wiser than everyone else and should have the right to make us peasants see the error of our ways.  I will grant that Romney has had a successful life and has made a contribution.  I assume he is a good father and husband.  It is too bad that he seems to want to finish it off by supporting oppressive government instead of “liberty and justice for all.”

Pray for Donald Trump.  He is obviously not as perfect as you or I but he is far beyond the competition.  We might also begin praying that there will be an heir apparent to the office.  The country barely survived the vacuum between Ronald and Donald.

homo unius libri