Category Archives: politics

Official CBB Policy Regarding Spam Rumors

So today I received an email from a church member linking to a video about a new Hillary Clinton rumor which may or may not be true. I have somehow gotten on various church members’ email lists, and periodically receive urgent alerts regarding threats to our religious liberties in America or other things. Although I certainly believe in defending religious liberty, I am often annoyed since a visit to Truth or Fiction sometimes dispells these horrific claims. Unfortunately that specific rumor has yet to be addressed at the site. But here are a couple of other examples:

We’ve heard other urban legends such as:

  • Proctor and Gamble is a company filled with satan worshipping executives (mostly, if not entirely false)
  • The government printed “under God” on the edge of the new coins (wait, that one was true!)
  • Pepsi took the words “Under God” off the can.

Truth: Pepsi did not, however Dr. Pepper did. And despite this, I’m not sure  it is worth AN EMAIL WRITTEN IN CAPS TO ALERT ME TO THE SEVERITY OF THIS PROBLEM.

I also didn’t ask to be included in the email, and I certainly did NOT ask for my personal email address (not the secondary spam address either!) to be broadcast to dozens, scores, or hundreds of other people. Unlike myself, I suspect many of them may want to be informed of these rumors, and may lack the scruples necessary from refraining from pirating my email address onto their lists, thus exacerbating this problem.

Back to the poor church member:Unfortunately for them, I am starting to realize that my silence in the face of an overly unredemptive and politically charged email is tantamount to my approval of it. Articulating a rather blunt email in response (as tactfully as possible) might actually have the effect of liberating my email account from any future emails of this variety. Glory!

So here’s a notice for anyone who is planning to send me any such email, links, or commentary that is politically motivated, with the effect of tempting me to accuse any polititian or leader, rather than praying for them, thereby entering into an unholy partnership by my divisive attitude:

Don’t do it, since you’re forcing me to counterspam EVERYONE in your cc field with a more biblical perspective, and run the high risk of embarassing you. Please, don’t do it!

As if Chuck Wasn’t Enough

Ric FlairJust seen on Fox – Tucker Carlson

Wrestling superstar Ric Flair will endorse Mike Huckabee’s campaign on Sunday.

All I can say is, “Woo!”

Mr. Flair is the master of the “Figure Four Leg Lock”. Watch out, Pat Robertson!

Vote for Huck or Answer to Chuck

I’d hate to be Pat Robertson on Judgement Day… Chuck Norris’ Judgement Day that is!

PA Cell Phone Update

Just heard it on KYW news – there’s a bill getting ready to be introduced that will ban all cell phone use, texting, etc… for teens behind the wheel. Teen, I’d call the ACLU if I were you!

CBB Spreading Cell Phone Dis-Information

This blog has been getting over 100 hits several days this week regarding a post related to the “cell phone ban”. I welcome the traffic but don’t want to spread mis-information. I just saw this off the TV news site:

HARRISBURG, Pa. – An e-mail currently making the rounds is creating a lot of confusion about just what the law of the land is in Pennsylvania when it comes to cell phones and cars. The e-mail erroneously claims that the Pennsylvania General Assembly passed a law banning the use of cell phones by drivers and that it will take effect Nov. 10. Lawmakers have considered such a law, but it has not been passed.

Read this link for more info. Apparently there are hearings on “distracted driving” coming up this Monday, October 15.

How Close This Came to Failing…

Regarding Philadelphia’s city council decision to celebrate itself as a “Pro-Choice City”:

The proclamation came very close to failing. As the roll was called, Councilman Frank DiCicco paused for several moments, clearly agonizing over how to vote, before finally saying “aye.”

[so this guy didn’t even have his mind made up beforehand???]

Rigali’s [diocese of Philadelphia’s Bishop] letter called the “pro-choice” designation a “shameful label.”

“Philadelphia is experiencing homicide at a record rate; now is not the time to affirm the false choice of procured abortion,” his letter said.

“What’s shameful is to equate reproductive rights with homicide,” said Dayle Steinberg, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

[hmm…]

Planned Parenthood helped Brown draft the resolution, and Steinberg applauded Brown for having the “courage to introduce something that shouldn’t be controversial but is.”

[did you catch that? this is what is so deceptive about living on the east coast – these subtle insinuations that I should be ashamed of my convictions]

“We are certain that this resolution is reflective of the opinions of a majority of Philadelphians,” Steinberg said.

[but you have IMPOSED YOUR MORALITY upon ALL Philadelphians]

Once the resolution was approved, Philadelphia joined the ranks of a small group of mostly liberal California cities that have made similar proclamations, including Berkeley, Santa Cruz and West Hollywood.

[SF has yet to enact this resolution? what about Vegas or NYC?]

Source

Who is there in this city that can let me know that stuff like this is being considered in ADVANCE? I’d rather be proactive and less “intolerant” in my retroactive angst. Plus, the Bible tells us that we need to be praying for our leaders instead of just blogging about them… If this was NOT a life and death issue, I might be a bit more civil in my postings.

Philadelphia is a “Pro-Choice City”

The stuff I hear when I’m waking up to the news.

Apparently the only people in an uproar about this is the local Diocese of Philadelphia.

Who’s minding the store in Philly? This resolution passed 9 to 8. Had I any clue this was happening, I would have come just short of harassing my council[person]. This resolution was proposed to a councilperson by Planned Parenthood, a civil and tolerant organization by some accounts.

Anyone think the homicide rate will stay under 400 this year?

OUR RESPONSE

Obviously I’m not encouraged by this. We have 3 responses –

#1 – I will call this the “Angry Religious Pennsylvania Response”

Otherwise known as the “Handwringer”. In this response, we follow my frustrated direction of this post and just start letting all sorts of negative thoughts and words pass out of our mouths. We damn all of the people involved in this vote that we disagree with and we appeal to God based on our frustration and our disagreement with this vote. For some reason (tax and crime rates perhaps) many of those in this group live in the country or the suburbs rather than right in the city limits (where they have a small vote).

#2 – Tolerant East Coast Urbanite Response –

This is the “Whatever will be, will be” response. If you are a Philadelphian you might not even have a problem or disagree with any of this vote for that matter… But let’s say you didn’t want your leaders making an official declaration on your behalf. Well what can you do? God must’ve allowed it, after all He is “sovereign”. Just go about your day and think about the Sermon on the Mount and social justice (the kind that serves the poor who are outside the womb) and somehow it will all work out in the end [From what I understand, Calvin was not a hyper-calvinist, and travailed in much prayer for his world]. Many of this group may live in the city out of a compassion for the needs, but may be blinded to their ability to respond to some of these larger political issues.

#3 – Loving, Intolerant, Respectful Response

This response has finally been showing up on the radar. The “loving, respectful” part is for our 9 councilperson majority and for the verse that says that we must respect and pray for our leaders, who have been set up by God. It’s also for the people that are in favor of this resolution and the lobbyists at Planned Parenthood. People have dignity and we are supposed to bless those we are at serious odds with and treat them well.

There is another realm where a lack of tolerance is called for. Is it possible for us to pray in a loving but intolerant manner for a changing of the heart of this city back to “brotherly love” and back to the God of William Penn. Why did Daniel pray a prayer in chapter 9 that identifies with the people he disagreed with (“Lord, WE have sinned”)? By the way we also live according to the Sermon on the Mount and also do all we can to serve the poor and continue the social justice end, rather than ignoring these huge needs.

Let’s go with Door #3. Here’s a group doing just that in DC.

Obama Bookworms… To MYSPACE!

Obama’s Book

You’ve read “the Audacity of Hope”. You blogged it to fill the rest of us in. Although you don’t totally agree with Mr. Obama, you scored points with the rest of your fellow religious conservative blogger community Gen Xer’s for your tolerance and openmindedness, a coveted trait by most of us.

Now he can be your myspace “friend”, too!obama will be your myspace friend

myspace

 

At this very moment, you could be Barack’s friend #108017! Hurry up!

Never thought a poorly designed but popular networking site would double as the “town hall” meeting, but why not?
It’s sure cheaper than airtime! Hillary had better get her groove down to her local myspace if she wants to beat this guy!

This is a defining moment friends. Each generation makes its mark on the political process through its technology and culture. This is the moment of Generation Y or Z or whatever we call you.

You must hearken all… the way back to 1992 when as a high school senior and Clinton supporter (along with my dissenting Ivy League to be friends) I witnessed an unprecedented candidate for president deigning to be interviewed and questioned on… [gasp] MTV!

MTV

Rocking the Vote 

MTV! Such a thing had never happened before. MTV indeed!

At that time MTV only had one reality show (The Real World), the rest of it was a steady diet of Nirvana and Hole videos with some 10000 Maniacs thrown in for good measure. You also can’t forget the hip-hop and the rap.

MTV News Anchors - Kurt Loder & Tabitha SorenAnyway Tabitha Soren was the moderator for a group of politically minded MTV “Rock the Vote” youth, and at the end of the Bill Clinton live studio interview/open question session she had one last question for Bill:

Boxers or Briefs?

…Shock waves rumbled from DC or wherever that interview was throughout the land. Some punk X’er anchorwoman asked the future president what his underwear was.

Briefs. This is what they look like in case you don’t know.Upon his response, shock waves rumbled from every secondary school and college in the land… the president wears “briefs”. We asked, “what are ‘briefs'”? Underpants right? As opposed to boxers (those hybrid brief-boxers in the department store were not yet invented). I don’t think anyone called them “briefs” before.

So… what did this have to do with Obama?

So anyhow, getting back from the “brief” bunny trail to the subject of politics and techno/culture: I submit that Obama has acted, in a word that I have used thrice on this blog in conjunction with that blasted myspace, “shrewdly”. He and other politicians have changed future politics in doing so. Surely if he hadn’t someone else would.

Can you imagine what would happen if that porn spam hacker that slimed me and all my friends got a hold of Obama’s myspace page? Word to the wise!

Outside Inside Reality

Outside Reality TV, Into Reality
[Disclaimer: this blog has been particularly thorny to write, and there are many caveats that may not have been cleared. Please read accordingly, leave comment if needed!]

[Regarding Mr. Busey’s team prayer in “Celebrity Fit Club 2” SEE PREVIOUS BLOG]

Unfortunately America is long past the point beyond which we can expect people to join with us under Jesus’ name in prayer. I am not selling out to ecumenism here, just making a point.

Erosion
Somewhere between 1990 or all the way back to the late ’60’s, there has been an erosion of the Judeo-Christian social culture that America was founded upon. I am thankful for this heritage and want to preserve it, but I also realize that we cannot force unwilling people back into a mold that they do not want.

I will not go so far as to settle for this situation. I just don’t think laws and arguments for their own sake will convince people. Actually it’s probably better to pray for genuine heart change for the public rather than just a return to what they perceive as 1950’s values. There is a significant percentage of the culture that resents that term and what it represents to them.

Our Perceived Response
The normal response of the religious community in my experience to this reality is to try to 1. convince the disenfranchised objectors that America’s heritage should be preserved intact. This is a noble aim, but doesn’t always work since the emotions tend to overrule logic. When this doesn’t work, we often 2. don’t know what to do, so we 3. reinforce the us vs. them mentality and 4. forget about God’s perspective and get really afraid and upset.

I stated above that I believe in preserving America’s heritage. I think where the faith community misses it is by pursuing a noble desire with tainted motivations. Please allow me to qualify this – I grew up in a faith environment with disciplined, virtuous people who studied the Bible. However when they started talking about the hot buttons (politics, abortion, left-wing social activism, evolution, prayer out of the public school, etc…) people really started getting upset, which can in fact be entirely appropriate. I think that a lot of the media coverage of “Religious Right” activities in the 80’s captured this perception and broadcast it to the world, making Christians look angry and mean.

In my experience, I witnessed too much of this to completely discredit people’s negative reaction. When AIDS came out, I didn’t see many people praying about it; instead we stated it was God’s judgment against homosexuals. I don’t remember praying for president Clinton much, and when he lied under oath about his “indiscretions” many of us gleefully tuned in to the radio talk-show pundits, eagerly awaiting his impeachment. I could list a lot of other stuff but I am depressed already.

It was just for Clinton to be reprimanded for lying about his conduct. No one would deny that AIDS is a consequence of having sex with an infected person (although many believe that “protected sex” will always protect them), and it may be accurate though not easy to label it a “judgment”. When we stop at “God’s judgment” people don’t hear the redemptive side, that God wants to reconcile us vertically & horizontally.

If I had AIDS, I might well realize and regret what I did and perhaps want to repent, but hearing that this is “God’s judgment” against me, I might think God hates me and won’t ever forgive me. The intended communication is “we are all responsible for our sins, but Jesus has paid this penalty on our behalf, if we will allow Him to change our thinking and behavior”. If we say and do things outside of a truth-in-love motivation, the enemy can take advantage of it.

As I said in an earlier blog, the media thrives on broadcasting the worst of behavior, so it is tough to win a positive spin. They rarely catch us doing the right things, unless it is in the realm of social action. I’m glad more Christians are getting caught feeding the hungry and building homes and doing Tsunami relief. I hope we will try to turn other perceptions around one-on-one, outside of the media zone.

We have a lot of ground to cover. God is after individual people and has called us to be reconcilers. He guides us by his spirit as well. Below is an additional strategy that I have found to be effective.

Try This At Home
What I propose might work better is 1. ask the disenfranchised objector to tell you why they feel the way they do, and 2. try to find out what happened in their life (divorced parents, bullying, religious hypocrisy, moral failures, and broken trust are a few) to cause their disenfranchisement. Then you [gasp] 3. express sincere sadness over these events and in qualifying cases (such as any religious issue) 4. become an agent of reconciliation (“I understand how you feel about religious people being a bunch of hypocrites. I’ve gotten a lot of flak from them too, but Jesus isn’t like that. I go to church myself, so it really hurts to know that we [the religious community] could have hurt you in that way.”)

When people experience this kind of sincere empathy they are now more aware that you might actually care about them. You might now have a choice to do several things, among them 1. keep on talking about Jesus’ love (or whatever else you sense God might want you to communicate, 2. go back to talking about America’s moral heritage, or 3. something else.

Or perhaps the person was so mad that he or she spat in your face or assaulted you verbally or something in the previous paragraph. If this is what happened, you have been persecuted for righteousness. Congratulations. Rejoice, etc… but make sure to forgive the person and pray for them & that God sends somebody else to love on them.

You may have objected to this notion of assuming other people’s mistakes as some sort of hypocrisy in itself, or that the other person should have to first repent before experiencing reconciliation with their church issues. You may be right and that may well have been how it worked for you. I would rather risk this than to watch an opportunity to offer God’s love to somebody via an apology for something an affiliated person may have done to them. Heck, their perception may have been totally wrong as well, but I want to take the opportunity to bring Jesus into the situation.