We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, June 30. 2015
Unpaid Internships Are Worth it: Suck it Up Millennials
Building a Wattle and Daub Shelter for Dummies
Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country
Why is that a bad thing?
It Was Always About The Christians
Kimball: Thoughts on satire and Juvenal
Why the College Board's New Standards Would Make Teaching History Even Worse
A Lifestyle So Good, It’s Mandatory - In California, it’s lifestyle liberalism versus nicotine vapors.
Christian farm family penalized in gay wedding refusal decries ‘orchestrated set-up’
Pope recruits Naomi Klein to fight Climate Change and Capitalism
Reality Is Now Discretionary
The Greek Crisis: Too Little Democracy, Too Much Bureaucracy
The payoff for Iran
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Peter Martino's essay is asinine in the extreme. There are four separate issues involving Greece: (1) debt default, (2) membership in the euro zone, (3) membership in the European Union, and (4) membership in NATO.
Not all European countries are in the EU. Norway for example, which is in NATO, is outside the EU and uses its own currency.
Not all countries in the EU use the euro. UK is one example, and there are others.
Not all countries in the EU are in NATO, viz Sweden.
A Greek default tonight does not necessarily affect Greece's use of the euro nor its membership in either EU or NATO. If the EU chooses to expel Greece from the euro zone and the EU, they will have a tremendous legal fight on their hands, and they will lose it.
"IF THERE IS A SINGLE STUMBLING BLOCK ON THE ROAD TO THE FUTURE, IT IS THE BUREAUCRACY AS WE KNOW IT. " (borrowed, don’t know who to credit with this quote, maybe Edward Hall)
“By their very nature bureaucracies have no conscience, no memory and no mind. They are self-serving, amoral and live forever.(Hall)
You need only to look at Olson's paradox; the rentiers and special interests continually pile on the government and they do so in tandem with bureaucrats (supported by media, academia, and pols) and who also seek to expand their turf and power. It is the nature of the beast. There is also, of course, always the underlying problem of racketeering.
“Bureaucracy on the life-destroying scale described by Edward T. Hall is an industrial era phenomenon. Only a bureaucracy can turn ordinary, decent people into participants in gigantic atrocities that go on and on, and absolve the people who operate the government machine from personal responsibility for the consequences.” (Noonan)
Regarding the impact of SS "marriage" on orthodox Christianity, my first concern is that a Catholic Church will have to choose between acting in concordance with it's beliefs (that Marriage, as instituted by God, can only be between a man and a woman), or the current "law" of the land. My second biggest concern is that a weak kneed liberal Catholic Priest will cave. Interesting times are not necessarily the best times. I don't think the dissenting justices are far off the mark. I hope I'm wrong, but the past few years have shown optimism about this country's course to be far from realistic. As I said in 2007, it was a fun country while we had it.
you know nothing about how the first amendment works here. the government will not wander into the quagmire of defining orthodox Christian or Jewish dogma.
do you believe that you have a right to be married in an Orthodox Catholic or Roman Catholic church or a Jewish synagogue? I'll make it easy, you don't. more specifically, not even Roman Catholics have an absolute right to be married in the church unless they conform to doctrinal rules. A "marriage" between two gays would be a nullity from the beginning, not recognized by the Church anywhere.
now, if I ran a "christian" wedding chapel for profit, or were a member of any of the tens of thousands of protestant denominations that have no particular dogma and have performed gay marriages in the past, I'd be worried.
I agree with you about the First Amendment, but I agree there will probably be pressure from the giverment in the form of threats to withdraw the the tax exemptions or tax deduction on donations for churches, synagogues, and maybe even mosques to marry gay people.
If that happens, it will be interesting to see how the Muslims take it (I'm guessing not well). We Christians are not only divided on this but tend not to rock the boat. You'd have a better idea how Jews would react.
there are always threats to take away the tax exempt status, and my dogs always bark at strangers. who can tell the difference?
I think you are seriously underestimating their fanaticism.
I expect children to throw tantrums. I don't think they're effective.
I'll reconsider if you find one time a federal court has redefined orthodox Christian doctrines, or if you can explain convincingly why you think you have a right to be married in an Orthodox Catholic church.
How it will be done is that a Church which accepts government funds for providing schools or hospitals will have a duty to perform a marriage without discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. So, the Church has to either perform the marriage, or likely shutdown their schools / hospitals.
I don't have a problem with Gay folks marrying, if that's what they want to call it. I DO have a problem with their bullying of churches.
because "schools" and "hospitals" receive fed funding but provide distinct services than "worship".
Catholic hospitals will shut down before they offer abortion services to comply with federal mandates as a condition of receiving federal money. but the Catholic parish on the street corner isn't receiving federal money to operate.
the USSC has held since the 1870s that the first amendment requires the government to defer to church authorities on doctrinal issues and in the RCC, OC, same sex marriages are just not possible because of doctrine. that's a complete nonstarter. there was a case in California where the Episcopal Church and the breakaway Anglican Church in North America were dueling over TEC property held by ACNA congregations and the courts there bent over backwards to avoid getting into theological disputes.
if there's one thing that would unite Jews, Christians, Mormons, puss'n' Buddhists, saturday saints, islams, even protestants, its the threat of the government writing doctrine for faith groups. even if a church is friendly to the idea of gayster marriage, it is so because of its internal decision; the rule that the government can tell a congregation what it must believe (that's what doctrine is) is too much of a threat not to fight with all guns blazing. also note that these are often politically powerful, well funded, well represented entities. while the ACLU could run over Ye Lil' Chapel o' the Tilt Up Construct, taking on mainstream religion over this fundamental issue is a fail.
I don't know how to make this any plainer. I can't get married in the Catholic Church because I'm not a baptized, practicing member. This isn't a civil rights issue, this has never been a civil rights issue, it will never be a civil rights issue. Period.
so all of you unwind.
I have no doubt that the Churches' doctrine will remain untouched, but the question was why anyone believes they have a "right" to marry in an Orthodox Catholic Church. I told you.
The Churches will cut themselves off from the Government teat rather than succumb to interference with their core beliefs. Uncle Sugar becomes, largely, the sole source of relief work.
But, as to a belief that a gay couple believes they have a "right" to marry - unless the Church cuts itself off from Gov funds first, the couple will be deemed to have such a right that will be compensable in $ terms.
your understanding of the first amendment issue is fundamentally wrong.
as far as I know, no church in the US is the direct recipient of government funds to perform religious services. that is the lever the fed uses to try to force christian hospitals to perform abortions services.
there is no right for anyone, gay or normal, to be married in an orthodox church, unless the church itself deems it so and the government cannot interfere with that, regardless of what gays or the ACLU wants to believe.
It's a common error to miss the distinction between small "o" orthodox Christian and capital "O" Orthodox Christian. I don't think it affects Donny's argument that much, but... it might. Small independent churches that adhere to historically essential doctrines - orthodox in the small-o sense - might be more vulnerable.
There will also be some ambiguity about where lines are drawn. Churches have sanctuaries and reception halls, and who has a "right " to them can be murky, e.g. the parents are longstanding members, the bride grew up in the Sunday School, went away to college and found a mate, now at 24 living six states away - but never a member. Churches don't quibble at allowing their facilities to be used for that wedding, even if the officiant is a college chaplain or a cousin from another denomination. A gay couple wishing to insist might have a case.
a church that opens its separate parish hall to the public might have a problem, probably will. so the solution is either stop making them public or just accept gay weddings (this isn't a church wedding even if its on church owned property).
the solution for the privately owned wedding chapel whose owners don't want to serve the gay would be affiliate with some church like the baptists, and adhere to their rule that marriage is between a man and woman only.
re Christian farm family penalized in gay wedding refusal decries ‘orchestrated set-up’
This is where gay marriage has led, to the shaking down and persecuting of business that doesn’t want to play. Such nice people, the gays.
And we were told that they just wanted to get married because they love each other BS, BS, BS, and it wasn't going to harm anyone. In reality it is just a new way to shake down American business, and that does harm those people.
At least that's the way I see it.
What they do in their bedroom doesn't bother me in the least, but the bullying is an outrage.
While I am assuredly not a Christian, and I do generally support the rights of gays to marry, I am disgusted with the viciousness of these lawsuits. Like in other situations, once a group gets the government in their pocket, they use it to screw their opposition.
Some time ago, when we decided to marry, my (now) wife and I looked for a small, simple venue. One place simply did not want to do an atheist wedding. Fine. We found someone else willing--there was no need to scream 'religious discrimination'. I have no more desire to force my lifestyle on someone else as have them force theirs on me.
Same here. We were atheists when we married. We wanted to use our alma mater's chapel, but the charter required us to have an ordained minister officiate, when we would have preferred a justice of the peace. We found a Unitarian who might as well have been an atheist, agreed not to mention "God," and everyone was happy. If we hadn't been able to reach that compromise, it would have been up to us to find another venue.
On the other hand, I'm unimpressed by the problem that orthodox Christians will be out of step. We've been living in a culture with few objections to divorce, adultery, or fornication, and managed to find a way not to get into constant fistfights with all the sinners. Why is SSM so much harder? Is this really a moral dilemma, or more of a social "ewww" factor?
I think there is a bit more of a dilemma for a specific reason. A minister performing a marriage is also performing a quasi-legal act of making the marriage binding. When you couple that with the history of harassing commercial enterprises that don't want to participate in gay marriage ceremonies it generates a certain amount of uncertainty. As you and jay noted, we've traditionally assumed that couples desiring to be married will find an officiate, venue, and so on that they consider suitable and mutually agreeable. Under what grounds will a pastor be able to refuse to perform a marriage ceremony? What conditions will a church be able to put on requests for use of their space? Just the fact that such questions might be ligated will change the behavior of churches. At the extreme, I can see churches that won't solemnize gay marriages being forced to drop marriage ceremonies completely by a combination of prohibitions and requirements related to marriage licensing and completion.
I guess I was trying to say I didn't have a big problem with the chapel placing limits on what kind of service must be held there, or on any ordained minister placing limits on what kind of service he would perform. We found one flexible enough to accommodate us, and if we hadn't, we would have chosen another venue. There are plenty. I'm absolutely not entitled to force anyone else to cooperate in my ideas of a suitable ceremony. I wasn't when I was an atheist, and I'm not now that I'm a Christian.
a for-profit wedding chapel will be required to perform gay marriages, why would they not want to?
a church with an established doctrine where marriage is between a man and a woman cannot, under the first amendment, be forced to marry gaysters. the USSC has said for almost 150 years that the government must defer to churches on matters of church teaching. the idea that the government could order the Russian Orthodox archbishop to perform gay marriages is beyond laughable.
churches that take a casual approach to matters of faith and morals (permitting gay marriage, solemnizing gay marriage or gay unions), you're on your own. you're probably in the ACLU cross-hairs already.
Re Unpaid Internships
Internships by definition are almost always unpaid and are given for the opportunity to gain valuable experience in a chosen field, network within an industry, and hone a resume to stand out among thousands of others.
no, bullshit. they're "given" because a company knows a dumbass kollege kid values his or her time as $0/hr and it's willing to oblige this fantasy.
I'd tell a kid, the value of your work is $x/hr. either the company is going to get $x or you are going to get it from some other outfit.
I assume, from long experience, that every potential new hire is about equally trained and equally worthless. what I'd rather see is anything that shows a work ethic. and to me, while a work ethic can be demonstrated by any job it definitely includes knowing the value of time.
This [ghey marriage] is profoundly incompatible with orthodox Christianity. But this is the world we live in today.
no shi'ite. why are you people surprised? your own Jesus told you that you live in this world but are not of this world.
grow a pair, for the gods' sake. your church thrives when it's persecuted.
But the country will be punished by God removing His hand of protection. And it will be dramatic, since this country was founded upon an invocation of His protection, so this is a direct repudiation of Him.
As a Christian, I am not worried about what is going to happen. But the rest of you folks should be. It won't be pretty.
It thrives because it was born under an oppressive imperial government. Jesus wrote the book on it.
I have heard for years that the church thrives under persecution, but I am not sure the data supports that entirely. It certainly has done so sometimes. China apparently has a burgeoning Christian movement at present.
Russia, not so much.
History is full of places and times where the church was simply wiped out and didn't thrive at all.
re Identity Politics
"These of course are just the symbols."
for your basic libtard, its only about the symbols. under their twisted logic, eliminate the General Lee model car, and racism is dealt a fatal blow. it's easier to complain to walmart than try to fix work disincentives or lower the number of single parent (meaning, fatherless) families.
The biggest problem with the same sex marriage deal is that Kennedy wrote a horrible opinion. The decision was based on a simple fact, marriage has changed over the past few years to be as much a legal and economic function as social and religious. I have several friends who got married solely for the benefits it granted them with taxes, mortgages, insurance and so on.
The justices basically decided you can't deny folks these benefits based on sex. Period. They didn't determine anybody had a Constitutional right to get married, look at it the same way as voting, you don't have a Constitutional right to vote, but if the state decides to hold elections it can't discriminate based on sex. Same deal.
The biggest problem with the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage is they made it all up and TOOK the rights reserved for the people and the states. This is not a federal issue, the constitution is silent on this issue. This should have been decided by the people within each of the 50 states. This was also true of the decision that legalized killing unborn children. The Supreme Court was 100% wrong in both cases.