Religion

    

by Reid Fitzsimons

Robert Casey, Jr is the senior senator from Pennsylvania. He has a name you might know in that his late father was a former governor of PA and one of the last truly Pro-Life Democrats, a belief and position which is now incompatible with being a Democrat. His son the senator, whose qualifications are pretty much limited to the fact he is the son of a revered figure, lamely claims he is Pro-Life but this is fully contradicted by his actions. Why he feels the need for this pretension is not entirely clear. Certainly he’s aware there is an ethnic/Catholic voter demographic that wants to believe his utterances (Casey is one of those Catholics that rejects much of the church doctrine but enjoys the wafer and wine part), but I wonder if some deeper psychology is involved. Perhaps some Daddy issue- “I'd like to be a good boy, but if I do what is right the celebrities and hip media won’t let me be in their cub” kind of thing.

Hypocrisy is an inevitable frustration we encounter in life; it is especially annoying when it originates with our elected elites and when it is effective in terms of re-election, etc. In Sen. Casey’s case, his undying support of Planned Parenthood combined with his faux Pro-Life position makes one almost appreciate Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” sloganeering. Below is a letter sent to Casey’s senate e-mail address with three possible outcomes: no response (likely), a meaningless form letter response (likely), or a thoughtful reasoned argument (awaiting the cow to jump over the moon).

...continue reading

by Barry King

(Reviewer’s note: The Calvin and Hobbes Barry mentions refers not to the characters of the well known comic strip but to John Calvin, the somewhat theocratic theologian of Reformed Christianity from 500 years ago, and Thomas Hobbes, the social/political philosopher of 450-some years ago who was known for his book Leviathan and the concept of a “social contract.” Note the characters of the comic strip were named after the real Calvin and Hobbes.)

The modern debate about human nature goes back to Calvin & Hobbes, who asserted that natural (uncivilized) humans were totally depraved (The T in the Calvinist TULIP), and their lives were nasty, brutish, and short (from Leviathan), v. Rousseau, after it popped into his head without evidence, that the lives of savages were peaceful, easy, happy and idyllic, because, he thought, they were naturally and intrinsically good people (until "civilization" comes along and ruins them). Rousseau's view prevailed in France, informed the French Revolution, and that POV difference has been one of the most fundamental disagreements between the left and the right every since.

If there had been a "#metoo" campaign centuries ago, echoed by women all over the world, leading to a widely-held hypothesis that "all men are potential rapists", Calvin & Hobbes would have said, "well, yes, of course they are" while Rousseau would have asserted a more nuanced view, that sexual freedom was natural and therefore really cool (while assigning his own several illegitimate children to be raised by Hillary Clinton's proverbial peaceful, easy, happy and idyllic "village").

So here I sit trying to work out how and why the current iteration of "#metoo", and the associated widespread warlock hunts in Hollywood, academia, and Congress, seem to be coming mostly from the left. Human nature itself is not changing, so other things must be changing. The left now seems to be kind of saying to the right "OK we will join you in such moralistic crusades", while deploying Saul Alinsky's principle of holding the enemy to his own standards ("OK we're crucifying Franken, so you have to crucify Moore", with the tactical twist of saying, after Moore is dead, "oops, maybe we won't crucify Franken after all.")

If we date the current "sexual revolution" to the 1960s: is 50 years really enough time to rediscover the ancient notion that even if sexual freedom is natural, it's not necessarily really cool? I would have thought it would take longer than that, but maybe high tech accelerates social evolutionary processes.

by Reid Fitzsimons

Several years back there was a mediocre/better than most crime drama called Cold Case, i.e. the crack detectives solved murders committed in the past but shelved away at the time. One episode involved the murder of a young woman/mother who had been the victim of domestic abuse. In one flashback scene the scummy abusive husband, who didn’t prove to be the killer, was sitting at the kitchen table angrily contemplating the bowl of cereal his wife placed in front of him. She was busy trying to get herself off to work and their child off to school when he erupted, “I don’t want my breakfast to come from no g*ddamn box!!” As she meekly tried to apologize and quickly fix him a more substantial meal, he reached his limit of tolerance and began smacking her around. This guy had it all: poor hygiene, no job, wearing one of those sleeveless T-shirts sometimes referred to as a “wife beater,” etc, seamlessly fitting our stereotype of domestic abuser.

As Americans rarely are we more content than when holding on to our narratives. It makes us comfortable in our confusing and meaningless world of excessive wealth and materialism, and substantiates our sense of righteousness. Our stereotypes are frequently confirmed via popular entertainment, the news media, and the like, and the circle is unbroken. Indeed law and policy are often based on popular stereotypes of the moment, and large sums of money and resources expended in our quest for feelings to trump thoughtfulness. Of course there is a downside to embracing stereotypes, as evidenced by Ku Klux Klanners and their cousins the Black Lives Matter activists. This is not to say that stereotypes are innately incorrect- many likely have some basis in reality. Recollecting the movie White Men Can’t Jump and observing that 23% of NBA players are white, the stereotype suggested by the title has a statistical rationale.

...continue reading

rep-danny-davis

by Reid Fitzsimons

On Nov. 18, 2016 a black youth, 15 year-old Javon Wilson, was shot to death in his home in Chicago. The suspects/culprits were inside the house when apparently an argument over a pair of shoes ensued, and 17 year-old Dijae T. Banks (a female) handed a pistol to 16 year-old Tariq M. Harris (a male) who then shot Wilson. News accounts summed up his short life with a depressing “he liked basketball and rap music.”

His death was not particularly out of the ordinary, sadly. In the progressive world we’ve created, life, per se, is not of inherent or specific value, lest we sound like Pro-Life nut jobs talking about the “sanctity of life.” This especially holds true with black people, where there exists no innate value, but rather the meaning and matter of life is largely determined by the manner of death, with a few exceptions such as black sports and music figures, celebrities in general, and inaptly described civil rights leaders. Had young Javon Wilson been shot by the police his life would had found great significance and been marked by ecstatic outrage, marches, riots, and perhaps other murders.   Typically, however, a black person murdered by another black person rates at best a candle light vigil, a makeshift monument of teddy bears, and a few pro-forma words from a local politician of how we have to stop the violence.

...continue reading

1 Comment

mainline church abortion

by Reid Fitzsimons (note: other names used in letter replaced with XXX)

Greetings Pastor XXX:

This is Reid Fitzsimons writing. I am the husband of XXX, who was to an extent raised at St. John’s Church in the 1950s and 1960s. We attended your service on July 10, 2016 while visiting the area. You kindly invited me to partake in Communion but I mentioned I am not a Christian and felt it disrespectful of the Communion tradition and intent for a non-Christian to participate.

I am writing to offer some observations and thoughts of your service and sermon, but please bear with me for a moment to describe my relation with Christianity. I was not raised in any religion and was quite atheistic when I was younger. In my early 40’s I quit gainful employment to do volunteer work in Guatemala, Kenya, and later Honduras. In doing so I encountered many Christians and came to believe that the basic tenets of Christianity, especially Do Unto Others and Love Thy Neighbor, are the best prescription for any society regardless of religiosity, but at the time I was quite ignorant of the most elementary theology.

In July 2008 (a month after XXX’s mother died) we moved to Southern Alabama and divided our time between Alabama and running our charity in Honduras. While in Alabama XXX asked if I would help her find then attend church with her. We decided on a Presbyterian church (PCA, not PCUSA) and soon became fairly close to the pastor, a very gracious and learned person who actually went to seminary in France, in French. He invited me to attend a multi-denominational men’s Bible Study despite knowing unequivocally I was not a Christian. This stimulated an interest in theology, which continues to the present. As an aside, this study group, located in what is derisively called the Bible Belt, not only tolerated an agnostic Yankee who was not reluctant to bring controversy into the study, but kindly accepted me into their fellowship. I continue to attend church with regularity, mostly a small Regular Baptist Church since we moved to Pennsylvania, and continue to study theology on my own.

...continue reading

1 Comment

obama islam

by Reid Fitzsimons (note that this is written the day following the terrorist attack in Nice, France)

Reasonable people, not just provincial redneck hicks, can divine a correlation between Islam and these rather persistent terrorist attacks, the toll of which is not insignificant. The perpetrators are running pretty much at 100% in the yelling Allahu Akbar thing, and they aren’t, to the chagrin of progressives, declaring themselves to be conservative Christians slaughtering in the name of Jesus. The Ivy League educated powers that lead us are quite vehement in instructing the ignorant masses there is no association between terrorism and Islam, with the caveat that there would be no benefit in stating such if it was true, which makes us conclude they suffer from the Islamic Culpability Denial Syndrome, or ICDS.

Characteristics of ICDS include ignoring that the perpetrators of terror unequivocally state they are Muslim and are acting on behalf of Islam, that they have historically received material and philosophical support from “legitimate” Islamic oriented governments (including our new BFF Iran), and the brutal and perpetual Islam on Islam violence. Combined with the paltry denunciations of violence done in the name of Islam by people who might reasonably be considered Islamic leaders both internationally and in the US, in both political and religious realms, ICDS is baffling. ...continue reading

2 Comments

transgender

by Reid Fitzsimons

The Target Corporation, which describes itself as “an upscale discount retailer” and operates almost 1,800 stores, has recently emphasized its commitment to transgender activism, specifically where it pertains the to use of its bathrooms. Brian Cornell has been at the helm as the CEO since August 2014 (total compensation since his affiliation $28,164,024) and recently made a statement, largely in Q&A format, to address any concerns his bathroom policy has engendered.

His preamble reiterated Target’s diversity philosophy: "individuality may include a wide spectrum of attributes such as personal style, age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, language, physical ability, religion, family, citizenship status, socio-economic circumstances, education, and life experiences." He added the following: “We live in exciting times, from not only a corporate/business perspective but from a cultural one. We at Target believe the greatest human endeavor is to facilitate people in finding personal fulfillment and satisfaction in life. We are proud to be at the forefront in advocating for people too long marginalized by society simply because of the manner in which they gender identify. We believe the greatest gift we can give our valued customers is a shopping experience where all feel welcome, accepted, and embraced regardless of such factors as sexual orientation or gender identity.” He then answered questions asked by customers about Target’s bathroom policy:

...continue reading

3 Comments

obama-muslim quote

by Reid Fitzsimons

Barak Obama is a liar, which is not a preposterous thing to say. Bad people lie and good people lie. Sometimes lies are told out of cowardice, other times to help a person through a troubled period, sometimes to facilitate a seemingly greater good, and other times to facilitate a selfishly desired goal. At times people lie to themselves, at times to others, and sometimes to both. Politicians are probably more accomplished liars than average though some are notoriously unskilled and hence entertaining, Richard Nixon, Gary Hart, and John Edwards being examples. The Clintons are not particularly adept at lying in that the truth eventually reveals itself. Their success is based more on the concept found in the lyrics of Are You Lonesome Tonight- “I'd rather go on hearing your lies than to go on living without you.” As difficult as it may be for a rational person to accept, just as there are people who actually watch and receive pleasure from morning network news programs and reality shows, there are masses totally enamored with Bill and Hillary. The Clintons may not be particularly adept liars but they know their intended audience, and this has served them well for many years.

...continue reading

islam peace

by Reid Fitzsimons

The neighbor up the road, a guy also born in 1958, stopped by while walking his dog the other week. We stood outside for quite a while discussing things big and small, personal and global. When the subject became ISIS, the San Bernardino shootings, etc he related a disquieting anecdote from the late 1970s. He was working at a gas station and engaged a customer in conversation, this being a time when intelligent young people were curious about the world and didn’t just accept the ramblings of their sociology professor as incontrovertible truth. Our neighbor recounted saying something such as humans cause so much conflict and war, shouldn’t religion serve as a way to counteract violent instincts. This customer turned out to be a Muslim of South-Eastern European origin, I think he said Albanian, and agreed that religion should be a means to achieve peace. He then added, in a conversational tone, once all non-believers were eradicated and only Muslims populated the earth, there would finally be peace. Not unexpectedly, this sentiment impressed our neighbor.

...continue reading

immigration article foto

by Reid Fitzsimons

Note: the following article began as a brief e-mail to my brother (explaining some of the syntax), which somehow grew into 5 pages. Despite being too long and somewhat rambling, it makes points and arguments rarely, if ever, seen elsewhere.

I was going to add a few comments in regards to our discussion/argument about what you called immigration reform, though I think you were being a bit disingenuous and really meant support of an open border type policy (in theory Donald Trump rounding up anyone with a Hispanic sounding name and placing them in Mexico-bound boxcars could be deemed immigration reform). However this touches on a related topic of interest to me- the significant similarities between progressive liberals and Evangelical Christians, so I’m going to go ahead and write an excruciatingly long article for posting on an internet blog. I hope you are inclined to read what follows, which includes some outside the lines ideas in regards to immigration reform.

...continue reading