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Tea Party Day: Part III

17-April-2009

Yesterday I gave my thoughts on the coverage of the tea parties that took place across the nation. There’s a nice collection of Photos from some of them here.

Apparently I’m not the only one that found the coverage to be juvenile and unprofessional.

OneNewsNow has a poll and an article about the coverage.  Granted, such a poll is as un-scientific as you can get, but it gets my point across that I am not alone in this assessment.

Julia Seymour is an assistant editor/analyst for the Business and Media Institute of the Media Research Center (MRC).

“It’s just awful reporting,” she says of CNN’s handling of the Chicago rally. “It would be easier to tolerate if CNN had bothered to do the stories leading up to the event. But CNN wasn’t even talking about the TEA parties until April 14 — despite previous protests that had happened in February and two months [of people] organizing these events.”

Beyond the news media, government officials are crying conspiracy on this. JimmieWearingFool has the story. All I can say is that if the Republican party was able to organize anything half as well as the tea parties were organized, they’d be the only party.

And, lest we think that this blog is becoming a mouthpiece for the ‘GOP,’ Jennifer Rubin has written a piece about how this movement could be big trouble for both major parties.

The rallies included a lot of people who have never attended a rally before. I find some hope in this (no pun intended). It’s making me see that the American people aren’t ready to lay down and let America and her liberties be destroyed just yet. And, for those who were wondering, that is why I’m so interested in this movement that I would post about it three times. This is why I’m so encouraged that people are willing to go out and have their voices heard in the middle of a work day in the middle of the week.

I’m encouraged that maybe we have enough political clout to stop the trampling of our rights. I’m sure many of you have heard by now that the Department of Homeland Security has issued a document that could easily be construed as an edict to watch anyone with a differing opinion than those in power is to be mistrusted and watched very closely. At the University of Georgetown, the president spoke, and it was insisted that the Name of Jesus be covered up.

Because of my upbringing in the inner-city, I’m mistrusting by nature. Because of my training as a scientist, I look for all possible outcomes that I can think of. One of the possible future outcomes I’ve seen for a long time is the outlawing of the expressing of the Christian faith, and eventually its practice. It may not ever happen, I know, because it sounds tinfoil-hat crazy, but this is one of the reasons that I’ve been so politically minded as of late. And, I do realize that God is ultimately in control, and that persecution may be just what the church in North America needs to get its act together. Still, it’s nice to see people out there making their voices heard in the name of America’s rich history of freedom and liberty.

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Fun Friday, 17-April-2009

17-April-2009

It’s Friday. Thank God. It’s been a very strenuous week for me and it won’t be over until Sunday. On Sunday afternoon, I shall rest.

As a result of the busyness of this week, I haven’t really come across anything new worth mentioning here. Therefore, I’ll fall back on something I had been planning for such a time as this.

In the Internet era, we have to be very careful. This is an age where Internet hackers and businesses weaseling their way into our computers and doing things like stealing our CPU cycles, using our PCs as zombies to send spam, harvesting personal information, or just destroy the device.

One program that does a phenomenal job at helping us protect our computers is Spybot Search and Destroy. This is a program that helps prevent and remove programs that install them self onto your computer and track your activity. It also comes with Tea Timer, which helps protect your Windows registry.

I’m not sure if there’s a program out there like this for Mac, as I haven’t used a Mac since my iBook died for the fourth time and I switched over to a Windows laptop a few years ago. From Spybot’s site, there is no Mac version.

This is definitely not a replacement for your anti-virus and security suite, but I highly recommend that everyone add this as part of their Internet security package.

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Tea Party Day, Part II

16-April-2009

Not much to post today. However, I’ve been working on 3 fairly involved posts to come soon, but they’re just not ready yet. As for now, here’s a little ‘fluff’ piece while I work on them.

Yesterday I mentioned that it was Tea Party day. I encouraged you all to go. Then, I didn’t go. What a jerk, right? Well, it turns out that I had an extremely busy evening and just didn’t have time. After all, it was tax day, and I decided to shop a new product before filing my return. And, as I had a huge amount to pay, I wanted to spend some extra time and not miss any deductions. Also, my wife and I are guest worship leaders this weekend and needed to practice. And, we had an opportunity to get a a kind of pet for which I’ve been searching for a long time, so I had to go and buy supplies.

Having seen the coverage, I’m very impressed with the turnout across the country. Especially considering that many of the rallies were held at noon, on a work day. I’m pretty impressed with how it was essentially a ragtag, grass-roots type of organization, essentially without a central group organizing and backing it (like the Dem or Rep party, moovon, or anything like that).

One party organizer in a major City (I believe Chi-town) was asked by the new head of the RNC to speak. She politely declined, saying it was time for the politicians to hear the people, and not the other way around. I was very impressed by that!

From what I heard and saw, media coverage of the events was shoddy. Perhaps on a local level it was better than what the national outlets tried to give us (It certainly was where I live). I hope so. What we got from the national media were the typical biased reporting we’ve been getting for as long as I can remember. What we got from most of the national media were pre-planned, pre-scripted characterizations of stereotypes people hold about people on the ‘right.’ It was arrogant, prejudicial, presumptive, and judgmental. One reporter went around asking the group why they were racists. Another asked belittling questions, and instead of giving the person a chance to defend them self, began instead mocking other news organizations. While I don’t want to paint all media outlets across the nation with this one brush, as a whole, coverage of this event was very unprofessional. Not that I’m especially disappointed by this; it’s about what I had expected.

It’s nice to see people get together for the common good of the nation. It’s very interesting to see how these events can be organized across the country using the internet as their main organizational tool and sharing only the loosest of connections.

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End Times – So What? Part II

15-April-2009

A while ago, I made a post on American Evangelical Christendom’s obsession with the end-times. I got annoyed about this issue again this morning as I was driving to work and listening to the local Christian radio station. The radio show playing on the station was doing their weekly end-times rant. This time it was another rant about how they believe that Tony Blair could be the Antichrist. I’m sure Tony Blair would really appreciate believers accusing him of being the Antichrist. I’m sure that couldn’t possibly be something that drives him away from the family of God by any stretch of the imagination. After all, as a fairly recent convert to Catholicism, he really should be chastised and ridiculed, right?

I’ve just gotten done reading a blog post on Joel Spencer’s ‘The Double Edged Sword Blogsite.’ Joel Spencer is a factory for well-written posts. The post I’ve just read is called “Raptureitis: A Virus In The Body.” It’s a great read.

While the organizations, evangelists and pastors blare to the “lost” world “What if Jesus came back tonight and raptured His Church away?” I ask the Body of Christ, “What if He doesn’t? What if you encounter persecution and even personal harm because you stand for the name of Jesus, The Christ? What then? Will you still embrace Christianity?” But people seemingly think that even the thought of this is just plain absurd. “Oh God would never allow such a thing! He doesn’t want His Church to suffer!” Oh really, have you read what happened to those who stood for Christ in your Bible? And what about Believers who today will have their hands and feet cut off in other countries for the name of Christ? Does God not love them enough to “rapture” them out of there?

As I’ve said before, I’m more concerned about the multitude that will enter into eternity this evening without knowing Christ than I am about people who may be left behind if/when Christ comes back for His church someday.

As far as God not allowing suffering in His church, ever read Foxe’s book of martyrs? I only made it through a few pages of that before I couldn’t deal with it anymore.

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Tea Party Day

15-April-2009

If you can, I strongly recommend attendance of one of these rallies.

http://taxdayteaparty.com/teaparty/

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NCAA Tournament, Part 3: Wrap-up

14-April-2009

The NCAA Hockey Tournament frozen four has come and gone.

I’ve posted twice about it, here and here. Apologies to those who are not interested in sports or are not interested in a departure from the main issue of this blog. But, I don’t want to spend all of my time on here being against the relevant or emerg* movement, and I like to post about things that I like from time to time. This means that chances are I’ll be doing a post about bacon one day.

I was very disappointed to see the Cinderella Story of the year, Bemidji, beaten 4-1. Nothing against the RiverHawks, but everyone loves an underdog.

BU Knocked off Vermont 5-4 in a back and forth game.

In the Championship game, Miami had Boston down 3-1 with a minute left to play… when Boston scores 2 goals, sends it to OT, and wins it in OT on a really weird looking goal. It kind of reminded me of how they beat UNH in the last few seconds on a weird goal.

BU never really dominated any of their opponents after utterly demolishing “the” Ohio State University. Still, they’re the 2009 NCAA National Champions after riding the top of the rankings for much of the season.

USCHO has a nice pictorial of the events.

I’m sad to see the end of the season, but here’s looking forward to next season!

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Respecting the president

13-April-2009

The office of president of the United States of America is one of, if not the toughest job in the world. As a Christian, I believe that God has put the holder of that office into power and as a result that office is due some respect and some restraint when it comes to disagreement.

I believe we have every right (and the responsibility) to oppose what the government tries to do that we feel would be bad for our country, for our fellow Americans, for our freedoms, and for our personal and religious liberties.

However, I believe that I, as a Christian, and all other Christians, have the responsibility not to be so extreme in our criticism that we begin to mock or ridicule or defame the character of the president. I believe that we can provide a sharp contrast to this for the benefit of those who do not know Christ.

I’ve seen a lot of sentiment in conservative circles that say that they’ll treat the current president with the same level of respect that the supporters of the current president gave to his predecessor. I can certainly understand the thought and emotion behind this. When president Bush was in office, he was mocked, ridiculed, and accused of a wide range of spurious, ridiculous, and laughable ‘offenses.’ We heard this type of thing basically everywhere we went. We heard people accusing him of on one hand being too stupid to finish a sentence while on the other hand masterminding 9-11, Saddam’s mustard gas, causing hurricane Katrina with his bare hands, and biting the heads off of live baby seals whenever he had a spare moment. He’s been called names that I won’t even allude to here. His appearance has been mocked. He’s been characterized as a fumbling hick. Anyone who’s been in this country over the past eight years has seen this, and probably knows several people who acted this way towards president Bush. Those who behaved this way have behaved in a manner that is rude, disrespectful, subhuman, and shameful. If I had acted that way I would be ashamed of my behavior.

I believe as Christians, we are called to a much, much higher standard than this. Not so we can feel superior to those who acted this way (and the temptation IS there), but because we’ve been called to do so. Sure, we’re free to point out that giving the gift of a box of DVDs to a foreign dignitary is an embarrassment to our country, as was bowing to a Saudi prince. We’re free to point out that his isdea of ‘spreading the wealth around’ is a bad idea and people will ultimately lose jobs as a result. We can even question his judgement regarding the people with whom he spends his time. However, to call him names, to accuse him of crimes for which there is not evidence, to ridicule him openly and publicly, this is not called for. Jesus would not have us behave in this manner.