Saturday, January 9, 2010

Odds n’ Ends, #17

1).    God's Grace. From the website 'Of First Importance': "For there is no calm haven where our minds can rest until we come to God's free love."- (John Calvin, NT Commentary on John p75)

2).    End of the World Coming May 21, 2011. It seems as though these are times of great urgency, no matter one's viewpoint. The challenging times of our world include issues such as Global Warming, the economy in crises, famines, wars, natural disasters, the possibility of the Packers going to the Super Bowl, etc. This sense of urgency is now appearing more frequently. Here is a Harold Camping, a Christian radio talk show host's prediction that the world will end May 21, 2011. And note that despite there being clear Scripture that no one knows when the end will come (here), Mr. Camping uses a very strained interpretation of the Bible, mathematics, and numerology to come up with the May 21, 2011 date:

The number 5, Camping concluded, equals "atonement." Ten is "completeness." Seventeen means "heaven." Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.

"Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years."

Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days - the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.

Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.

Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500. Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.

"Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved. "I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said.

3).    Child Sacrifices on Rise in Uganda. Witch doctors in Uganda have admitted their part in human sacrifice amid concerns that the practice is spreading in the African country. Story is here. One man said he had clients who had captured children and taken their blood and body parts to his shrine, while another confessed to killing at least 70 people including his own son.

The latter has now given up the ritual and is campaigning to stamp it out, according to BBC News.

The African country's government claimed human sacrifice was on the increase.

According to officials trying to tackle it, the crime is directly linked to rising levels of development and prosperity - and an increasing belief that witchcraft can help people get rich quickly

    Tom's Thought – There is nothing more precious than children. And so, when people are willing to sacrifice children, a universally evil act, in order to obtain financial gain, it is a sign that some switch has gone on that is causing people to lose their senses. And a question to ask ourselves during the financial crises that our country is facing, is what are you willing to do in order to keep a roof over your family's head, or food on the table?


4).    Dolphins Should Be Treated as Non-human Persons?. Story here. Dolphins have been declared the world's second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as "non-human persons".

Studies into dolphin behavior have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence…

    Tom's Thought – The legal implications of this are mind-boggling. Does this mean dolphins are entitled to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"? Should a boat captain be arrested for hitting a dolphin? Should the ACLU be able to represent them? Should it be a criminal act to defeat the Miami Dolphins in an NFL game?


5).    Top 10 Religious Blogs. According to the Technorati website (here), the top 10 religious websites are:

I haven't checked out, or heard about these blogs, except for the last two, and so who knows what these sites might contain. But I thought it was interesting to see that someone came up with a list like this.


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Edward Oleander said...

Wow, lots of info in this post... have to break it down...

1) One word... Gandhi. Oh... two more... Dali Lama.

2) While the numbers are oh-so-compelling, I'm still going with Dec. 21st, 2012. You just can't argue with cold hard logic.

3) The Spirit of Idi Amin lives on... and i thought there was no afterlife...

You raise the stakes on an excellent ethical dilemma here, far beyond the standard, "Would you steal bread to feed your hungry child?"

Okay, assume for a moment that I had 5 beautiful children of my own. Let's say four lovely daughters and one unfairly outnumbered son. Let us also assume I have tried every avenue I know of to feed them without breaking any laws.

There is no one set of ethos that can cover all situations, but...

In general, yes I would steal to feed those loved ones. Especially if doing so would not directly harm (i.e. starve) the one I steal from. I would feel obligated to repay many times over when possible (if ever).

It is less likely, but still possible, that I would hurt someone do do the same, because injuries I can help heal, or make reparations for, but death cannot be healed.

I can conceive of scenarios where I would kill to feed my children, but the circumstances are very restricted. Whether I could live with the guilt once the crisis was past is another story. Yep, even Godless heathens feel guilt...

5) Dolphins.... I have known two dolphins in my life. If you went to the MN Zoo in it's first couple years, you knew them too, but I'll bet I knew them better. Being 2nd smartest is still a long way from being human, but is worthy of far more "rights" and protections than they now have.

They should enjoy better protections than we give we give dogs and cats. Even those animal cruelty laws should be strengthened and vigorously enforced. Michael Vick should still be in prison.

My ideal protections would mean a zero-tolerance for killing dolphins in fishing nets. A boat captain hitting one would be judged as is driver who hits a pedestrian, and could be held negligent or guilty of wrongful death. Life, Liberty, et al is reserved for American citizens, so it is doubtful that all Constitutional protections can or should ever apply, but they are not food (although the choice between Flipper and the children mentioned above would not be in doubt... sorry, Flipper)...

The Miami Dolphins should have their standard Constitutional rights replaced with the animal cruelty laws instead. I never have forgiven them for 1971...

More later...

Edward Oleander said...

5) Top 10 Religious Blogs... Sooner or later (probably later) I'll check them out to see what harms they are doing to the human psyche... I'll start with those last two since you have heard of them and report back for debate...