Archive for January, 2004

January 30th, 2004 No comments
Empty Chairs and Responsibility

Tonight, I see that twisted GenX genius Victor Lams comments at Amy Welborn’s about reaction to Fr. Rob Johansen’s “Empy Chair” sermon (which references Victor’s comments on Baby Boomers; how’s that for circularity?):

And I do think that all of us, non-contracepting parents, genXers and Baby Boomers alike, bear the collective, national guilt of the crime of abortion.

For reasons unknown to me (not that I’m arguing!), my older boys want bedtime storytime to cover the whole Bible, including the “boring” parts like Numbers and Leviticus. (Reason #42491435 to both homeschool and keep Nintendo out of the house.) Last night, we got to Leviticus 20:

The LORD said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.

— Leviticus 20:1-5 (NIV)

I think Victor has it right. There are a lot of laws in the Pentateuch. This is the first time I’ve noticed one where guilt is imputed, not simply to the one breaking the law, but to all of those who know and look the other way.

And there will be a special place in Hell reserved (or, if you prefer, a custom millstone) for those who not just close their eyes, but open them, and call evil good.

[Episcopalinal priest Rev. Katherine] Ragsdale called conservative evangelicals opposed to abortion “a small and wacko fringe” and said an abortion-rights stance is a natural position for a Christian.

Keep all my decrees and laws and follow them, so that the land where I am bringing you to live may not vomit you out. You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them.

— Leviticus 20:22-23 (NIV)

Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter.

Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes

and clever in their own sight.

— Isaiah 5:20-21 (NIV)

God have mercy. God have mercy on us all.

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January 28th, 2004 No comments

The new equivalent to “Read The FINE Manual”.

I had a brilliant idea today. Somebody should write a Java equivalent of Expect. I was all set to hack on it tonight. Of course, such a thing would need a name. “JExpect” ought to be about right.


At least the thing already exists as Free software, and I can just pick it up and see how well it works. Hopefully well; Expect is addicive and insanely useful once you get into the hang of using it to automate things.

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January 23rd, 2004 No comments
Levis: Made In (Anywhere But) America


I was making a list with my wife the other night about all of the iconic American products which are no longer Made In Americaâ„¢. I had to stop because it was too depressing.

Along with his chronicling of the Electrolux debacle in Michigan, Dale Price mentions the news that Levi’s are no longer Made In America but are simply MIA.

Did you know that Etch-A-Sketchâ„¢ was made not far from here in Bryan, Ohio? The Ohio Art Company now does all it’s manufacturing in China.

(Bryan is a neighboring town to my hometown, and had one of the Episcopalian churches in our shared ministry cluster when we lived there. It’s not a ghost town, but I think “vibrant” is … ahem … a bit of a stretch.)


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January 23rd, 2004 No comments

There was a small, faint, but still unmistakable “rainbow” in the clouds today over the field behind our house as I drove home today. What else can it be but a snowbow?!

I needed that.

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Shared Experience

January 15th, 2004 No comments

From Greg Krehbiel (via Mark Shea):

Of course we still have to wonder about the 100 percent failure rate in my large sampling of Catholics at the University of Maryland. I have a lot of theories about that, but none of them have anything to do with the council of Trent. The sad fact is that we have a generation of Catholics who know Catholicism about as well as I did when I was in college. The bishops will answer for this when they visit Aslan’s country, but for now it seems that the failure is pastoral, not doctrinal.

Yeah, the hardest thing for me about trying to take Catholicism seriously has been Catholics. I managed to make it through 2/3 of my life without meeting Catholics who (a) know their faith, (b) seem excited about Jesus, and (c) want to share the Good News. Not that they were bad people (see the “(1) I never killed anyone”) but … being a Christian isn’t about just not having violated gross moral and social standards.

Of course, the danger for a good Protestant is when you do meet Catholics who are on fire for Jesus and apologetically capable, it kicks that chair out from under you …

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