Zombie Apocalypse Housewives

We were watching the series of the zombie show, “Walking Dead” recently, and in one of the episodes the ideal woman character is having a confrontation with the feminist warrior woman about the importance of each other’s tasks.

Our family watched the previous seasons on Netflix, and this scene occurs in season 2

Which matter most, the household tasks and the making of a home, or the buttressing of the militant actions that patrol and protect the group? Making tea and cakes or guarding the perimeters and shooting things?

The Walking Dead “18 Miles Out” Andrea confronts Lori from Days Gone By on Vimeo.

The whole show (at least in the second season) is obsessed with whether a life that is reduced to animal survival and the lowest forms of brute morality is even worth living.

Hmmmm, tea and cakes and cleaning bathrooms suddenly seems to gain a notch or two in prestige and honor.

It turns out that just about everything we do involves cleaning the bathrooms. Creating an environment where care and trust are expressed. -Seth Godin in “Clean Bathrooms

It was never about either or, but about understanding that people need to give due respect to each others roles and vocations, to have the freedom to grow as a society and support one another by occasionally giving precedence and hands on help to something other than our own little tribal preferences.

Gay Marriage Clarified

It has taken a long time into the gay marriage debate to reveal the actual way gay marriage accepted as a legal right could change the general landscape on marriage as a whole. For most of the years in which it was actively debated, the premise put forth and accepted by most was simple, “It won’t change marriage, either in concept or law”.

The fundamental matter of what change might take place in our concept of marriage and the protection the laws now give it… and ultimately constituting a change in status for children and women in a marriage relationship (which is legally defined), had always been my main concern on this question.

Now that the debate is almost over and the idea of gay marriage as a right is generally accepted and being instituted in law, some inconvenient facts have risen to the visible surface. So, the question still remains how the legalization of gay marriage changes the definition of marriage and the legal complications of that change. Is anyone willing to address that yet?

That is always where I believe the point of the conversation should take place. Will definitions and permission for adultery change inside the state of marriage? Will polygamy become a part of the legal definition? What does this do to benefits for marriage partners and offspring?

Those are the questions that everyone seems to ignore, but can we afford to continue this omission?

Marriage Minus Monogamy VI
the fifth part of a series on marriage and monogamy in this issue highlights some of the difference between the customary definition of a “committed relationship” between two people, and that recognized in the gay community.

Not that the gay community is one homogeneous unit. There are scientifically demonstrable differences in how the sexual relationship, including gays, is different for males and females (1). At least at the theoretical stage (the interpretation of data is not fully conclusive), but there has long been a difference noted, if not proven conclusively. Yet, the discussion has moved forward upon the ideas that all gays have the same ideas of what constitutes gay marriage. In all the definitions possible, marriage is more than a simple business contract, and implicit within it are certain constraints on behavior. Is this included in the way the laws are outlined? I am unsure of what the actual legislated demands for a married partner consists of, at this time, but presumed it still held the monogamous view of exclusivity of one partner.

In what way might this be changed, if at all under the addition of untraditional partners? this is th ematter that I haven’t seen addressed, but the one that I believe should most be addressed.

Atheists and Arguments, Debates Trying Not to Beat the Old Dead Horse

(too hard!) LOL!

It has been several years since I participated in the atheist/Christian debates. After lots of time on forums, a bit on blogs, and of course, the occasional personal forays… I have largely let such debates rage on without me. I still will say that you give enough rope to the Atheist and he will hang himself with his arguments, while the Christian will stand there and gut himself. Yes, that is horridly jaded and cynical.

But for some reason , maybe the boredom of January, maybe the long vacation from such debate… I had some interest in an internet Facebook event, which takes place Jan.24.
An Atheist/Christian Debate
http://foolofpsalms.blogspot.com/ vs. http://arguewithachristian.blogspot.com/

Admission is free, bring your own popcorn.

Shhh! Don’t Talk About It

Adrian Warnock shared some of the points from Ed Stetzer’s post about research findings on the effects of pornography.

Would it make a difference to you if you knew more about these points?

  • Pornography is addictive, and neuroscientists are beginning to map the biological substrate of this addiction.
  • Married men who are involved in pornography feel less satisfied with their conjugal relations and less emotionally attached to their wives. Wives notice and are upset by the difference.

Or others? Given the stories about Tiger Woods which hit the news, and became the hot topic of the month, do you think there might be some of this influence at the beginning of his present troubles? Makes me wonder.

People don’t just throw away their marriage and reputation for nothing… there is a hook in there somewhere. Here is the research link, Ed’s pdf document

The Future: Debate will increase over who has rights to medical care

He is not a “vegetable”, after all.

After the healthcare debate in the legislature is completed, the discussion will return to the ethical questions that have been so problematical for modern medicine and society. It is the type of story that Rom Houben represents that will become our focus. And it will pivot, not just on our ethos, but on the economics of trying to provide care to all of society.

Watch for distinctions to be made on who is worthy of care and who is not, while trying to maintain a PC exterior.

It is harder to rationalize euthanizing sentient beings, when the cloak of ” they are just a vegetable” comes off.

How to make practical this realization? Understand that even if a patient is unconscious or even comatose, they may still be able to hear and be fully aware of what is said in their presence.

Hat tip to Mark La Roi of WordFm

Health Care

While the Health care debate has been coalescing into something along the lines of a question of our patriotism, our compassion as humans, our survival as a nation even…. it bears some thought as to whether our ideals of morality ought always to be our guiding light as to our consensus on what is legal.

For a long time we have devolved into a morality and legality ruled by majority. We intervene in the law process by majority pressure as the rudder of the mainstream media has propelled it. It is not our system, but has become a competition to our system I think.

So this essay in the “Sense of Events” blog raised what I think are some questions worth pondering in our health care debate.

My question is this: Do the limits of the US Constitution actually mean anything here? Where in the text does it grant the Congress the power to take from you and me and give it, as charity, to others?

This is not a question about Congress’s power to tax. It is about its authority to use taxation for purposes not enumerated in the Constitution.

We already know Democrat Sen. Mark Warner’s answer: the Constitution doesn’t grant Congress the authority to pass the healthcare bill before it, but it doesn’t matter because Congress has trampled on the Constitution so long that there’s no reason to stop now.

I am confident that some persons would answer that the Constitution is a “living document.” As best as I can determine, what that means in practice is that its text and enumeration of powers can be ignored in order for the Congress to do what it wants. Occasionally the federal courts, including SCOTUS, hold this tendency in check, but not very well or often. And at least as often, the courts themselves have taken the “living document” approach rather liberally.

My answer is that the Congress has no such authority granted it. If indeed the state of health care is so dire that public monies must be used to pay directly for medical care of some people (and eventually everyone), then let Congress introduce a proposed amendment to the Constitution so the people and states may grant that authority. That Congress has already been paying for such care for decades doesn’t change the question or the principle at stake.

I might even support such an amendment provided there were appropriate checks and balances built into it. Neither the power granted to Congress nor its authority to tax for this or any other purpose can be unlimited.

Like it not, there is no authority in the Constitution giving Congress the power to spend public monies for charitable purpose

Does Morality Trump Legality?

It is ironic that the right now questions the left on this… albeit with different issues.

Correct Choice of Words

So little time, so much to say. That might be the motto of many of us, especially of bloggers, or maybe it is just noticeable in bloggers -especially by other bloggers? Crafting our word choices is often a lost art, and perhaps why we so easily miscommunicate. Then there is the truncated ability to decode actual word meanings (which could inspire a digression into the state of today’s education degeneration).

I noticed this in the brouhaha engendered by Pyromaniacs set of posts on “Manly Men” and More Thoughts on Effeminate Evangelicalism . In carefully reading through the first post, I began to think that the author wasn’t really describing “effeminate” with its (rightly) criticized “homophobic” connotations, as he was something that the word “effete” might better have defined. But then it might have been more precise and not aroused the ire of those who resent the implications and connotations of the word “effeminate”. Unmanliness just has such a cultural buzz right now.

I weighed in on how we are inflecting the gospel.

A Woman’s Place

This was originally published on Intellectuelle

Part 1, in the Church

I don’t know of a more hot-button topic for both the churched and unchurched than this one. For that reason, we should probably try to take a fresh new look at threading out the various views on just what a woman’s place in society consists of.

It seems as if there are more presumptions on what the Christian scriptures say than there are authoritative doctrines. And of the authoritative doctrines, few are widely agreed upon as to how they work in the modern world. I’d like to look at that. In fact, I’d like to look at that with one of the more curious variations of recent memory: that blogging is a questionably womanly pursuit.

But first, what are some of the controversies? Women themselves are not agreed on what woman’s freedom, rights, and dignities are or ought to be. And this has lead to some confusion about what the reaction of re-instituting traditional roles should look like. An example: Feminists of today would eschew the mid-twentieth century persona of “June Cleaver”, TV mother. Neo-traditionalists seem to view those scenes with scentimental nostalgia. But what are we really looking at when we review mid-twentieth century female roles and lifestyle? Aren’t we seeing the Feminine Mystique generation? The women who oftentimes threw off the homemaker’s mantle and went into the workplace in hordes, who sometimes left home to ” find themselves”? Or had to make new lives for themselves as divorce rates skyrocketed? I know my mother had ‘Feminine Mystique’ on her bookshelf, had to become a breadwinner, and lived a very different life from the Donna Reed Show, et al. This is why I don’t think it is in looking backward culturally that we may find the defining roles of women.

And where has the Church been in all this? Pretty much where the rest of the culture has been: experimenting and floundering around to define women and understand how society should work. The Church hasn’t had a voice of consensus. And I think it is out of laziness and self-protection that it hasn’t yet produced clarity for even women in the Church, let alone a view of women in the Culture.

Further, the responsibility for this has lain with the Protestants. The ones who lay claim to Sola Scriptura, and studying to show oneself approved. But instead we are tangled up with reiterations of traditions and slipshod adoption of the culture’s lead on this. The Worldly culture. We are the ones who ought to be able to work at rightly applying how the Bible’s directives appear in our culture.

The Churches View

So first, what do the scriptures teach? Undoubtedly, the Bible gives a view of order and hierarchy. This is underlined in nature, but doesn’t have to be to give it moral force. The hierarchy of the Bible is: God, the man, the woman. Before I lose you modern souls, here, I ask the question: does this mean in all ways and at all times? If it did, there would not be so many permutations of leadership roles, and the reason I would give for this is contained in the word,”delegate”. Hierarchy is only the basic structure and not the immutable law of how all the players interact. But it is how responsibility is divvied up, and it is also the authority structure. Everything in life operates with authority structure of some sort:”You Gotta Serve Somebody” as Bob Dylan put it.

I heard a teaching long ago that made alot of sense to me. It was this: that in the Genesis curse the paths of success and downfall for men and women, respectively, was stated. Men would gladly give up the mantle of authority if they could also divest themselves the burden of responsibility, women will gladly shoulder the most onerus amounts of responsibility if they can only be in charge. That was the reasoning given on how the famous curse helped outline where people go awry in their gender roles.

To move on to a specific instance of scripture, let’s look at one chosen by so many raise controversy:

1 Timothy 2

11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived,
but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

That seems quite clearcut until you add Paul’s epistle to Titus:
Titus 2:3-4: 3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children…

Apparently, there is a place where women can teach.Then you have examples such as Priscilla, in the company of Aquilla:”when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately” -Acts 18:26

John MacArthur points out:”In Romans 16:1, Paul indicates that women possibly serve or minister as Deacons (Diakonon) in the church. Then in I Timothy he sets forth the qualifications for a Deaconess.”

If we understood that there are times when women are delegated place in the Church to minister in such ways we wouldn’t have foolish contentions about whether women may say things of substance in blogging, etc. If it were sin to blog it would be sin to write, and all women-authored books should be rejected on that basis. That is how I see the logical progression of such thinking. Yet, I don’t believe we see any such idea like that from the scriptures. I do think that the final authority in spiritual matters is given to men, but not just any men. Again, the hierarchy is that God calls and ordains who He wills, and this is the outline given for the Church.

Is it an abrogation of hierarchy for women to produce something intellectual just because some man somewhere might view it and thus “be taught”? In the light of day that sounds a bit silly, but when a respected teacher throws out such an idea it stirs up doubts and confusion. I call it as I see it: such are irresponsible teachers who are sloppy when they ought to take the admonition of James,

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

This sloppiness gives occasion for misunderstanding to a listening world. More circumspection and less retraction in important doctrines and controversial views becomes the more necessary when hostility and high rhetoric are rampant on a topic.

But the counterbalance for women who minister through preaching and teaching should be:”What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?” Our Churches and society as a whole welcomes and gives a place to women, but in the economy of God the truth is not in any one persons personal possession. If there is not a position given to a woman within a Church that does not mean that there is no avenue for teaching, simply that there is no officially ordained position within that group. No Christian ought to strive for pride of position, and it is disappointing to see so many women disdain opportunity unless it comes with a full set of perks and prestige.
I think the example of Deborah in the Old Testament is one of the most telling on this subject.

The Christian Opportunity

Should the Church abide by these standards enough to have a body of evidence for the culture to view, I think the high esteem for women, and their opportunities for fulfilling their potential could be seen plainly. In fact, I think this is what we see in the the way Western culture has grown to give Women the place they enjoy today. Unfortunately, the extrapolations of those high views under the secular watch seems to be leaving women highly vulnerable to harm. This is seen in too many ways to go into with proper depth here. Everything from increased vulnerability from easy divorce to the emerging picture of exploitation due to ideas of “sexual freedom”. This is all hotly debated even within the feminist camp. Not just between Christian traditionalists and Feminists.
Some of the examples are enumerated by Melanie Phillips, arguing in books such as “The Sex-Change Society Feminised Britain and the Neutered Male” that “feminism has distorted its own agenda of equality by replacing it with sameness”, “women are being encouraged to work at all times, whether they want to or not” . (I cite this book because it articulates some of the conflicts and issues. It makes some accusations that I am not prepared to defend. )

Is this the pattern the Church wants to emulate? One which has not and will not work? Or ought we return to looking at what our own guidelines and mandates say? And figure out which is which?

I’m not sure we can do that if we forget Christ’s example of Lordship was also one of humility and service, and think that men in authority means that women’s voices are silenced. In all cases, if God gives us words to speak, how can we not speak them?

When qualms such as these are brought up, I ask myself, what is the actual articulated fear here? Is it blogging and accidental teaching?
Is it the idea that women must have a restricted place in the church ministry? I do not think this is what is actually being verbalized. I think the actual fear is the breakdown of accountability, and that is something that doesn’t get addressed in the calls to shut women away from the internet or to stop blogging or writing books. It is a different problem that has symptoms and poor outcomes in some of these areas. Putting a band-aid on the gushing hemorrhage, or cutting the rest of the hand off, isn’t the solution. The solution is to strengthen the Churches structure to function properly. And just as there are times a husband should listen to his wife, there are times when men in the church should give ear to women. Not in exchanging authority roles but in the mutual respect and honor that Christ teaches and Paul explained.

If we restored such accountability in the essence of Christian brotherhood, we would make inroads against other problems such as pornography use, that is eating many men alive. Men in the Church. Accountability would strengthen them and help them to grow into the husbands and fathers that watch over the welfare of those in their care. I think this is the needed emphasis and that the squabbling over women somehow wandering into conflict with biblical wisdom is a red herring. The reason Deborah was called to lead, (Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time.) may well have been due to a dearth of men vigorous enough in the service of God. But perhaps I am wrong about that, perhaps there are times that God shows His sovereignty in working through those whom He chooses.

Please do not take this as a doctrinal statement on the idea of women leading the Church, the only expression given us is that women have callings and gifts, and that these should be used. I have no ambitions for women in specific roles, and I think there are many ways to serve God, some of the best without titles. Best because they are the more free, and I would conclude my thoughts here with the idea that our expression, as Christians, about the place of women in society is that they should be free to fulfill their potentials, and that we all appear before our maker without designations of gender or nationality or prestige. We ought to value that freedom and use it to its fullest in the service of God and mankind. It isn’t the licentiousness of the worlds version of women, it isn’t the subdued version of domination from the power hungry, either. What it is, is a respectful and responsible form of what best expresses woman in the full version of her humanity, and spiritual heritage.

“What of the future? We live in a day that is fast-moving. The United States is moving at great speed toward totally humanistic orientation in society and state. Do you think this will leave our own little projects, our own church, and our own lives untouched? Don’t be silly. The warnings are on every side. ”
-Francis Schaeffer.

A Woman’s Place, in the Culture, what might that look like? What does it look like now? Who’s going to draw the template?

The New Front: The Cultural War Gets Deadly Earnest

Operation Rescue, the extreme antiabortion group that organized a six-week blockade of Tiller’s office in 1991, issued a statement condemning the murder. “We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning,” Troy Newman, the organization’s president, said.

These unqualified reproaches are nothing new. The organized antiabortion movement has always opposed violence against abortion providers. That has never stopped opportunistic prochoice activists, however, from conflating their passionate rhetoric with the behavior of individual criminals. True to form, on Sunday, Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star accused anyone who had criticized Tiller as a murderer (Tiller aborted healthy, nine-month old fetuses) of being an “accomplice” to his death.

Over the past decade this argumentative tactic has taken on an even more insidious twist. In addition to fighting violent, Muslim jihadists abroad, some liberals argue that America must deal with its own, homegrown terrorists. These are not just people who commit violence but millions of socially conservative evangelicals and Catholics — “Christianists” — who comprise the base of the Republican Party and threaten the stability of the country.
The Religious Right Didn’t Kill George Tiller , WSJ Opinion article

I think we might be facing a revival of the type of opposition that led to widespread hatred on the basis of religious association, like that promoted by “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. This slanderous type of constituted myth, old hatreds, and fear spread the discrimination against the Jews. The Swiss Courts ruled in 1935 that it was “libelous”, and “ridiculous nonsense” but it stirred up fear and animosity anyway.

As Christians, our best defense against lies and misunderstandings of our doctrines and beliefs is to patiently explain them. And hope that people will listen and be rational.

Just because we believe in an Apocalypse, in a final judgment, in a second coming of Christ does not mean we believe that we are to abrogate the direct commands of Christ in living peacefully with our fellow man, do good and kind acts to others, be harmless, in this world. Just the opposite. It is in light of these events that we should patiently carry out a longsuffering and caring attitude towards even those we consider “enemies”.

But as Talk to Action blogger Chip Berlet does point out, there is a toxic mix of some of the movements that combine a fanaticism and militaristic approval of violence that incite individuals to acts of violence. but not encompassing all that he would name to it. And that is where the prejudicial slander begins. With that broad brush slathering all with salacious accusations of murderous intent and culpability.

The difficulty in untwining these threads of casting denunciations of conspiracy is that they are so widely used, by the Nazis of the Jews in the past, by Left of the Right, sometimes vice versa (although the Left has always had more of an appetite for it), of Muslims against most anybody else, and of Christians against Muslims at times. But there is a difference of specific groups who truly subscribe to such violence and of “the guilt for this crime from the individual who pulled the trigger to [the group] writ large”, as James Kirchick puts it. Of such guilt mongering, persecutions and genocides have been made.

And while I think it is wrong to cast aspersions on the whole group when an individual, not even closely associated, goes off on an aberrant violent path, I do not think that we can completely overlook our too enthusiastic calumny of our opponents. I think this is a call for pro-life adherents to temper their speech and restrain their aggressive actions. The focused, circumspect deliberation of one dedicated to a cause is more effective than a thousand screaming fanatics. We ought to be deliberate about eradicating abortion, and for that very reason we ought to reassess how useful it is to drum up the emotions of volatile individuals. The issue merits more than rallies and stickers on our cars. It merits activists focused solely on the issue and not on the hoopla surrounding it.

Less media attention, perhaps, but unstable individuals who don’t really understand the underlying conviction that life is precious might just find there is little to inspire violent plans of action.

Tillers Death: The Aftermath

The debate and discussion over this is rising to a buzz of deafening proportions. It gets hard to think when that happens. Dr. Tiller, an abortionist, killed recently, is thought to have been shot because of his high profile as an abortion practitioner and advocate.

One of the reactions:“They’re killing doctors.” by Aeron Haynie who uses the news event to create her own theory of why women don’t openly share their abortion stories as she elects to do in her post. Her most compelling take from her abortion is “I remember feeling relief that I had my body back, my life back”. In a sense, she has never moved beyond her teenage aspect of abortion, her relief to be on with her life unencumbered by that child-product. Not that I fault her personally, in that. We, all, when faced with traumatic events stay within the framework of our vivid reliving of it from the experience of the moment, including our mind and circumstances of the time. But as someone who speaks about an ethical issue and about broad implications for society, in that I fault her for using only her subjective teenage set of morals and values.

Anotherthink plays a bit of devil’s advocate with his reaction:
“Is it legitimate to suggest that there is a moral equivalency between Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s violent opposition to Adolf Hitler and the recent cold-blooded assassination of doctor George Tiller, the unapologetic abortionist?” I weighed in with “No”.
my comment:

Hitler as the head of state and demi-god of the Nazi regime created the temptation of ridding an entire society, indeed the whole world, of a perpetrator of crimes against humanity with his assassination. The killing of a single doctor in the machinery of the abortion industry does nothing good for anyone. Not for the pro-life cause, not for the future of babies, not for society. It is simply another murder.

When you take the high ground, in such arenas as being pro-life and other issues which seek to protect human life and support the aspect of human dignity, you are not allowed the privilege of abrogating that. Not even once. At the point at which you do, you leave the high ground and join the scuffle of each man for himself, and each judging good and evil in their own eyes. All support for ethical and moral good is then lost.

That is the tragedy of this murder: the lines were blurred in the eyes of all involved as to what steps we must take to honor life and human dignity and rights to exist. Which belong to all, even slimy abortion doctors who are advanced and protected by our laws and government.

The great power of a government based upon law is its objectivity. It might be infuriating to some to see such a person weasel out of justice and even regulation meant to protect others rights. But the law is in place to protect against an individuals fury against another individual, or making an individual pay for something that truly find causation in a social inequity, not in the person who uses that inequity to his advantage or to promote his own moral view. If Dr. Tiller used his rights to further endorse and promote abortions, and sidestepped controls on his actions [Tiller was charged with 19 misdemeanors alleging he failed to obtain the required second opinion from an independent physician that a late-term abortion is necessary.]

Efforts should be redoubled in the struggle to ensure the good of society and individuals with a reasonably high standard of morality. We need to patiently example and speak for an acceptance of the view that people have dignity and have certain rights connected with that dignity. We need to work more diligently to apply pressure to our lawgivers to support that view with appropriate legislation and rulings. We need to apply our moral and ethical standards without deviation in our lives and actions. We need to speak and put ourselves on the line to that purpose.

It is a tall order. But one we must attempt to fill.