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, November 16, 2019

Opus 2019-225: Then There Were Three

We have always had lots of liberals and Calvinists.  Often the only thing they have in common is denial.  It is almost impossible to get people to admit they are liberals.  They are sometimes so isolated that they call themselves moderates.  The ones who know they are liberal are going with Progressive now.  The same type of behavior is found in Calvinists.  They like to call themselves Reformed now.  Visit a church where it is clear that you cannot fall from grace and the will deny they are Calvinists.  The pastor will make all kind of statements about how you had no choice in being saved and deny he is a Calvinist.  It is kind of like the person who keeps telling you they lost three pounds but doesn’t tell you they gained five the week before.  There are still a lot of liberals and Calvinists.

Now we can add the Never Trump crowd.  They don’t seem to exist either.  A few might admit it but there are large numbers of people who see every imagined flaw in Donald Trump and believe it no matter how much he does that agrees with where they claim to stand.  They may even act like they are being positive about him but the “but’s” overwhelm the narrative.  I recently wrote a comment about a mistake I felt Trump made.  You might miss it because it was a simple opinion, not a major indictment.

I can think of others that might never admit to what they are.  RINOs come to mind.  We might add reporters to the list.  How about scientists?  I better stop there or my title will become meaningless.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Opus 2019-224: Baby Talk: Curiosity

Curiosity does not denote intelligence.  We think so in a child.  When they are always sticking their nose, fingers and entire body in places where they do not belong we talk about how they are curious and learning about their world.  I know it is true of my granddaughter but I am not sure about yours.  Being curious does not mean you learn anything.

Take the cat for instance.  It is always getting into every opening and gap.  It does things over and over and, to be honest, never seems to learn a thing.  It certainly does not get more intelligent.  Of course this could just be the fact that I am not a cat lover but how many times does a cat have to jump on my feet in bed before it learns it cannot fly?

Intelligence is what makes it possible to learn from experience.  My hope is that someday I will learn not to walk through the house in the dark.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Opus 2019-223: Vigilante Horizon

Is the day of the vigilante scheduled for a rerun?

Vigilantism is a scary prospect.  What often starts off as citizens trying to subdue crime and violence has a tendency to segue into kangaroo courts and personal vengeance. 

The problem we are facing is that much of our justice system is turning into a long running joke.  “Lawmakers” seem to be in competition to find reasons to let convicted criminals out on the streets again.  Even President Trump has bought into the concept.  Federal judges are ordering people released.  Daily we see headlines about murders committed by illegals who are out on bail or released for humanitarian purposes.  What it does is put violent criminals back on the street. 

What are law abiding people to do?  We have depended on the police and other law enforcement to protect us.  We have expected the courts to deal with criminals.  We build jails to keep them away from the general population.  Yet here they are out on the streets.

Why are left wing mobs like Antifa allowed to continue their reign of terror?  Why are so many Trump supporters worried about being vandalized if they put up a yard sign or a bumper sticker?  Why do liberals feel free to attack anyone wearing a MAGA hat?

My fear is that people will begin to take the law into their own hands.  I am not worried about criminals and corrupt officials being killed.  What I worry about is the fact that there is rarely any happy ending to such violence.  If it were an irate father who gives the murderer of his child their just reward and fades into the neighborhood, then civilization will resume.  If it is someone defending themselves and their family from home invaders, by them some more ammo.  If it is large crowds pushing what borders on revolution, then everyone loses.  Revolution and civil war usually destroy more than they remedy.

There is a reason why laws are to be enforced by a duly established government with due process and checks and balances.  There is a reason why the wheels of justice grind slowly.  It keeps the balance and allows justice to be done without destroying the weak.  Our problem is that so many of the people in positions of punishing evil have become evil themselves.

I hope the judges, clerks, police officers, politicians and anyone else with a responsibility to serve the public and advance justice wake up before we see vigilantes again because street justice will not stop with the rioters.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Opus 2019-222: Headlines: The Star Chamber

I saw it again today, a reference to “Star Chambers”.  Those of you who are lacking in a sense of history may think this has to do with Luke and the force.  No.  It is also not that dome in the observatory where you go to watch the show about the planets.  It actually goes way back in our struggle against the forces of fiat power.

The Star Chamber was one of those political ideas that started for a useful purpose and became a tool of tyranny.  It started in the late 1400s as an assist for a king who felt he was overloaded with all the appeals to justice.  It was a council that could hear cases when he was not available.  It ended in 1641 because of the abuses of James I and Charles I of England.  The reason those names are significant is that they were the monarchs that drove the English people into civil war.  Think of Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan Roundheads opposing the Cavaliers of the soon-to-be-beheaded Charles I. 

The Star Chamber became a secret court with no checks or balances.  They would drag people in and proceed to railroad them.  If you are familiar with the concept of Kangaroo Court then imagine one with absolute power, meeting in private with no responsibility to report to anyone except the king.  People would just disappear into the night.

The term is now coming up with regard to the Democrats impeachment proceedings.  They are being held in secret with arbitrary rules.  In this case Nancy Pelosi replaces the king.  The reason we should worry about this is because it sets aside all of the checks and balances that we fought the American Revolution to establish and puts an unelected aristocracy in power. 

Fear the Star Court of Impeachment.  Keep in mind that today they come for the president.  If they can destroy him in secret just imagine what they can do to you.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-221: Baby Talk: Squirrel

Baby watching fills a lot of cracks in the day.  Maybe it should be called “Toddler Watching”.  Her attention span reminds me of a lot of adults I know.

Baby’s are easy to distract.  That is one of the great points when it comes to dealing with a tired toddler throwing a grump.  We get her to look for her kitty.  We ask her where her baby is.  She totes a doll around with her all the time.  She rocks it, wraps it, pats it and does everything to it that has been done to her in her 18 months.  Recently we got her going to get baby and suddenly, “Squirrel”, she saw something shiny and forgot all about baby.  You could see the transformation of focus.

We see this in our adult world.  Remember the movie “Wag the Dog”?  The idea was to distract the public from a presidential scandal by faking a disaster or military attack.  If you notice, every time the Democrats are faced with any kind of scandal that the news can’t ignore there is a new announcement that tells us Donald Trump is meeting his downfall.  And the general public looks.  They forget about baby and focus on shiny.

I have hopes that the toddler will develop a longer attention span.  I am not sure about the general public.

homo unius libri

Monday, November 11, 2019

Opus 2019-220: Reform Illusion

I love it when famous people agree with me.  Jonah Goldberg writes (before he became a Never Trumper),
“Those yearning for a ‘Muslim Martin Luther’ don’t realize there are Muslim Martin Luthers all over the place, and they’ve been fomenting religious oppression and cruelty in the Middle East and terrorism abroad for generations now.”  p. 238
I have always been mystified by people who call Islam a religion of peace.  They obviously have only read the Readers’ Digest translation of the Koran which was prepared by undercover Muslims for gullible snowflakes.  The only peace that Islam offers to the world is a peace based on submitting to slavery or accepting death.  The idea is that the grave is very peaceful. 

And I have wondered what carousel people fell off of when they claim that Islam needs to be reformed.  That is what the “kill the infidel” of jihad is all about.  Those involved in the violence are the reformers.  They feel that Islam has drifted into the state that Christians feel about the United Methodist Church.  They think the average Muslim is a Muslim in name only and a clone of the dominant culture.

So don’t root for the reformers of Islam.  They want sharia to be your next experience in law.

Goldberg, Jonah.  The Tyranny of Cliches.  New York:  Sentinel, 2012.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 8, 2019

Opus 2019-219: Baby Talk: Monkey See...

It is amazing how much children see and how much they mimic our actions.  Our granddaughter sees us taking a tissue and blowing our nose.  She grabs anything including the hem of our clothing and makes the noise with her mouth.  She then will wad up the receptor and throw it on the ground. 

The one that got me yesterday had to do with the dishwasher.  When I am through putting things in I will use my foot to raise the door up to old man stoop level.  As I was pushing in the racks and getting help from the toddler I was ready to close the door when she raised up her foot under the edge.  She didn’t catch the entire effect so she did not move the door but she was obviously doing what she had seen the monkey do.

Children watch us.  I don’t think it ever stops even when they grow up.  People watch us.  We need to live like it makes a difference because it does.

homo unius libri

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Opus 2019-218: Karma Questions

As a Christian I must confess that I do not understand Buddhism or its teachings.  One of the beliefs is called “karma”.  What brought this to mind was this quote from The Tyranny of Cliches,
“Under karma we are rewarded for our good deeds and punished for our bad ones, in this life and our next lives as humans or grasshoppers or carpet mold.” p. 256
I think the basic idea is that your current life in the cycle of life is a result of how you lived your previous life.  In a nutshell, you get what you deserve.  That is as objective as I can be about the doctrine.

My mind goes on tangents whether it is engaged by a sermon, an advertisement or Buddhist doctrine.  So I ask myself, “How would you evaluate the life of a grasshopper to determine if it would move up or down the order of life in its next incarnation?”  What is right and wrong to a grasshopper?  Do Buddhists debate such things?

My life is not going to be transformed by the answer.  I don’t wait on pins and needles.  In fact I will probably move on as soon as I exhale, but for now it is a genuine question that I have no idea what the answer could be.  I expect that a Buddhist would feel the same way about the trinity.

Goldberg, Jonah.  The Tyranny of Cliches.  New York:  Sentinel, 2012.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Opus 2019-217: To Poll or not to Poll

Should we participate in polls?

A few times in my life I have received a phone call asking if I will participate in a survey.  Usually it is clearly a sales gimmick and I routinely hang up.  I am polite but I hang up.  We need to remember that as hard as it comes, be polite.  Once it seemed like a genuine survey so I started to answer questions.  It didn’t take long to once again politely hang up.  After a couple of questions I could tell what the results were going to be by the wording.  I tried to reword the question but they were having none of that nonsense.  I tried to explain how loaded the questions were but got no where.  They were the anointed reading their script to the unwashed masses. 

I used to think we should put in our opinion so that they poll would not be so skewed.  After paying a little attention I realize it is pointless.  They know what they want to declare and you cannot get between them and their conclusions.

So my answer is generally, no.  I also don’t bother filling out those questionnaires from the RNC asking my opinion.  The only part they are interested in is the contribution form at the end.  If they didn’t know what I thought they would not have sent me the form.

I have more productive things to do like take out the trash.

homo unius libri

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Opus 2019-216: Should-a-Beens: Want Ads

Wouldn’t you like to see it?  “Wanted, Investigative Reporters”

I keep wondering why the wealthy conservatives don’t get their act together and start a news source that stays reliable.  Maybe they could buy a local paper in a medium size town and start to build a following.  Drudge had a moment.  Fox made a try.  Both have gone to the dark side.  The anointed of the internet seem to have a set agenda of manipulating the dialogue.  I think there is a lot of pent up desire for a voice that links facts with truth.

This will require a new type of staff.  I can see three types of employees who will gather the news, each with a different focus.

Class A:  Basement Geeks (BG) to follow links and arrive at truth.

These would be your stereotype computer guy who does not get out much.  It needs to be someone who likes to follow links and look for obscure connections.  He lives to click.  This is necessary because so much of what is presented as news is just boilerplate that comes from a single source and then is spread around so it looks like it a trend.  It doesn’t matter if this guy has piles of pizza boxes around him.  It is okay if he lives of Soylent.  He has the skills.  Let him use them.  Reward him with more Soylent.

Class B:  Street Smarts (SS) to do physical investigation

This is your classical reporter.  He is expected to go out and talk to people, go through physical files, interview, observe and so forth.  This needs to be someone who is the opposite of the basement geek.  He needs to like people and getting around.  Previous experience as a reporter should ring alarm bells but would not necessarily disqualify him.  I understand that somewhere in North Dakota there is still an honest reporter.

Class C:  Office Nerds (ON) to put it all together

This is what used to be an editor.  It could still be an editor but it needs to be someone who is not pre-programed to present only one slant.

Think about how this could effect the public.  I don’t know if you stay in hotels a lot but many of them have piles of USA Today in the lobby for free consumption.  I notice that there are big piles even at the end of the day.  The reason is that they are not worth reading.  They are written at an elementary school level and tend to toe the progressive party line.  If I could find something like USA Today with genuine reporting I would subscribe.  I would buy it even if each page was divided in two columns and one side was liberal. 

We tend to accept the popular wisdom.  We accept that newspapers are doomed.  I keep hearing how books are going out of style.  We are warned that Amazon will put the box stores out of business and the box stores put mom and pop out of business.  It does not have to be.  Books keep being published.  Small stores that provide excellent service still survive.  I think that a newspaper that actually supplied news could do very well.

homo unius libri

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Opus 2019-215: Baby Talk: Here, Fido

Those of you that have pets are familiar with the magic of the shaken food bowl.  It can be a life saver with cats who don’t want to come in from the cold.  You stand at the back door and rattle the food bowl and it is amazing how often the independent minded cat will come running.

It works on toddlers too.  No, I don’t shake the cat’s food bowl to get my granddaughter’s attention.  What we do is rattle the pacifier.  It is amazing.  She is totally deaf one minute and the next comes running.  I would not believe it if I did not see it.

I am sure that there are political applications.  I will leave those up to you.

homo unius libri

Opus 2019-214: Pollish Jokes

I keep hearing about polls in which people express their desire that President Trump be impeached and removed from office.  It doesn’t mean a thing as long as people are expressing a wish.  It is the implementation that becomes a danger to our republic. 

If I had been asked a carefully phrased question about removing President Obama from office I would have been in favor of it in an emotional way.  The idea was a fantasy.  If the Republicans had tried to impeach him because he played too much golf I would have laughed at them for their foolishness.  He won the election.  It may not have been fair and square when you take into consideration all the voter fraud and media bias, but he won under the rules in play and the Republicans did nothing to resolve it under the rules in play.  We lost.  We lived with it.  Like it or not he was our president.

The polls on impeachment don’t really represent a democratic movement to impeach.  They are a Democratic fantasy that cannot be fulfilled in a free society.  I would hope, and my fear is it is a vain hope, that if it came to a real vote most of these dreamers would wake up and smell the elites desire to destroy the liberty we have by suborning an election.  The reason it is a real threat is because the left has brainwashed a generation and we are reaping the results.   And don’t forget that the polls said Reagan had no hope and that Trump didn’t have a chance.

Freedom cannot exist if the only rule is “Head I win.  Tails you lose.”  That is where the left is today. 

Freedom cannot exist if we allow ourselves to be swayed by public opinion.  Part of the problem is that the public tends to be ignorant and the other part is that the media that informs you about public opinion took their poll in the newsroom.

Freedom cannot exist if the Republican party does not grow a pair and start enacting the rules of law that we are supposed to be living under.

So don’t worry about the polls.  All they do is give you a window into the dreams, and nightmares, of the Democrats, Socialists, Communists, snowflakes, elites and RINOs of the world.

I don’t care if the polls show strawberry is the favorite flavor.  I prefer rocky road if they still make it.

homo unius libri

Friday, November 1, 2019

Opus 2019-213: Headlines: Shocker, Democrat Resigns

By now I am sure you have heard that Congresswoman Katie Hill has resigned.  This is a shocker, not because of what she did but that she resigned.  It must have been much worse than the media is letting us know.  Keep in mind that she is from California and a Democrat.  What would it take to shame such a person?  She is leaving while Pelosi, Schiff and Feinstein remain. 

Before you get excited keep in mind that she may be replaced by someone picked by the governor of the land of fruits and nuts, Gavin Newsom, or by a special election among the same people who elected her.  If you think the warm-up act was good then buckle up for the main show.

I am tired of getting the government that other people deserve.  I read that somewhere and I agree with whomever said it first.

homo unius libri