Dear church: Get your deep and sincerely held beliefs in line

June 29, 2015

From U.S. President Obama’s speech in the Rose Garden on the occasion of the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states:

I know change for many of our LGBT brothers and sisters must have seemed so slow for so long. But compared to so many issues, America’s shift has been so quick. I know that Americans of good will continue to hold a wide range of views on this issue. Opposition in some cases has been based on sincere and deeply held beliefs. All of us who welcome today’s news should be mindful of that fact, recognize different viewpoints, revere our deep commitment to religious freedom. But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple, often painfully, real change is possible. Shifts in hearts and minds is possible. And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people, stronger together than we could ever be alone.

Talk about speaking out of both sides of your mouth. For all the talk about “separation of church and state” that you hear from the illiberal Left, it’s actually a one-way street. On the one hand, those of religious conviction have no business trying to “impose” their values on society.

On the other hand, it’s apparently quite fine for the President to call for those same religious people to amend their “sincere and deeply held beliefs” if they conflict with the values of the current Zeitgeist, and for those same secular Leftists to make a call “to abolish, or greatly diminish, [churches’] tax-exempt statuses” if they won’t pile on the gay-rights bandwagon.

These people want a comfortable, inoffensive church that won’t rock the boat or tell them that what they are doing might be wrong. The majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges says, “The First Amendment ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives and faiths.” But the First Amendment doesn’t ensure the right merely to “teach” one’s religious principles; it ensures the right to exercise them. A conviction held is nothing, if it is not a conviction lived out. That means that all those beleaguered Christian bakers, photographers and florists actually have a constitutional right to act on their convictions and to opt out of taking business that would require them to participate in a ceremony they believe is wrong.

Charles Colson once wrote, “[The church] does not settle into a comfortable niche, taking its place alongside the Rotary, the Elks, and the country club. Rather, the church is to make society uncomfortable.”[1] The present animus toward the Christian faith is evidence that, however halfheartedly, we are making society uncomfortable. And the principalities and powers don’t like that, one bit.


1. Charles Colson, Loving God (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 176.

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Chris Squire (1948-2015)

June 29, 2015

Chris Squire, longtime bassist for the British progressive rock group Yes, has passed away at the age of 67, six weeks after being diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia.

Squire’s playing, which had a growling, melodic style, was an essential part of Yes’ sound, as you can hear in their track “Long Distance Runaround” from 1973’s Fragile:

Yes has recorded 21 studio albums since 1969, and over their rather tumultuous history has had about 20 different members and as many different personnel lineups. Squire was the single constant element throughout. With his passing, none of Yes’ founding members remain in the band (longtime guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Alan White joined in 1970 and 1972, respectively).

The music world has lost a major talent. Rest in peace, Mr. Squire.


And isn’t it high time Wonder Woman was a man?

June 27, 2015

Another day, another attempt to tamper with established characters to make them more PC:

Peter Parker is Caucasian and heterosexual. That isn’t a description: it’s a contractual obligation, one glittering clause in the solid-gold expanse of a licensing agreement between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios. . . . Certain facets of the man’s character are inflexible. He must not be black. And he must not be gay.

[Why It’s Time for a Black or Gay Spider Man]

The author does raise the obvious retort: if you want a black or gay superhero, why not just create a new one from scratch? But he never really answers it. There is a perfectly clear answer, though: the Left creates affirmative-action, token characters like this as vehicles for dropping a Message on audiences’ heads like a cartoon anvil. Heavy-handed ideology does not make for good art, and audiences know it. Since they know they can’t succeed on their own merits, the Left needs to hijack someone else’s already profitable property and repurpose it.

Imagine the howls of outrage if Fat Albert or Charlie Chan were remade as Caucasians.


On SCOTUS and same-sex “marriage”

June 26, 2015

I was contemplating what I could say in response to today’s travesty of a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, which legalizes same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states. I decided two things: there’s nothing 1) I can add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said by better commentators, and 2) given that I’m sitting comfortably in a country that has had legal same-sex “marriage” for the past decade, I’m really not in a position to be offering critiques to the U.S.

So, instead, I’ll just refer back to a post I made almost two years ago on the topic. God himself established the institution of marriage along with its attendant social and theological significance. Five judges, or even nine, have no authority to alter its parameters.


Banning racist symbols

June 25, 2015

Che Guevara


Now racist: white people having white children

June 24, 2015

Especially other white people having white children.

There was a time in my 20s when everything I learned about the history of racism made me hate myself, my Whiteness, my ancestors . . . and my descendants. I remember deciding that I couldn’t have biological children because I didn’t want to propagate my privilege biologically.

If I was going to pass on my privilege, I wanted to pass it on to someone who doesn’t have racial privilege; so I planned to adopt. I disliked my Whiteness, but I disliked the Whiteness of other White people more. I felt like the way to really end racism was to feel guilty for it, and to make other White people feel guilty for it too.

[I Sometimes Don’t Want to Be White Either]

This, Faithful Readers, is what crazy looks like.


Good question, actually

June 19, 2015

“I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode.” —Teal’c, Stargate SG-1, “200”