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Messages - The Yak

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1
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 19, 2021, 10:18:29 AM »
For those who care, here is the legal definition of insurrection: "A rising or rebellion of citizens against their government, usually manifested by acts of violence."

And here is the federal code defining the charge of insurrection:

18 U.S. Code § 2383 - Rebellion or insurrection
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.


And in point of fact, no one involved in the capitol riot is being charged with it.  Not one.  The prosecutors surely would have pursued the charge if they believed they could sustain it.  They didn't likely because what happened did not meet the legal definition of an insurrection.

Rather, it has become a political term to further political ends, and hence the debate over its applicability.

2
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 18, 2021, 04:22:11 PM »
Just for kicks, here's how Merriam-Webster defined "insurrection" on Jan 6, 2021, thanks to the Wayback Machine: "an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government." The oldest page that the Wayback Machine has of the definition of that word extends back to Oct. 17, 2006, and it is the same as the Jan 6, 2021 definition.  I'll bet if someone has an older M-W dictionary, you'll find the same definition there.

Here's the current definition that was changed sometime between Aug 29 and Oct 4 of this year to: "a usually violent attempt to take control of a government."  I wonder what sparked the change?

Fun with words.
Heh. Given that many elections feature some degree of violence at various protests or rallies, it sounds like the effort by one party to win all the elections is an insurrection. They’re attempting to take control of a government in way that can involve violent means. At the very least, D-Day is now an insurrection since we attempted somewhat violently to take control of the government of Vichy France.

Yep. But even more, it is merely "usually" violent. So non-violent means to take control of government could also fit within the definition. This would encompass all political activities, of course. So campaigning for a Republican is now, by definition, engaging in insurrection.

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Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 18, 2021, 02:23:43 PM »
Just for kicks, here's how Merriam-Webster defined "insurrection" on Jan 6, 2021, thanks to the Wayback Machine: "an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government." The oldest page that the Wayback Machine has of the definition of that word extends back to Oct. 17, 2006, and it is the same as the Jan 6, 2021 definition.  I'll bet if someone has an older M-W dictionary, you'll find the same definition there.

Here's the current definition that was changed sometime between Aug 29 and Oct 4 of this year to: "a usually violent attempt to take control of a government."  I wonder what sparked the change?

Fun with words.

4
Your Turn / Re: Once again, in loco parentis
« on: November 04, 2021, 11:51:09 AM »
Granting, obviously, that it is likely offensive to adopt yellow or Nubian as a racial classification (my point is not to give offense, but merely to insist on proper use of language rather than letting it be used as a tool against culture).

Actually, I know a fairly large number of Nubians from the Nuba Mountains in the South Kordofan region of Sudan.  They're happy with "Nubian." ;)

5
Your Turn / Re: Reformation Sunday Observances
« on: November 03, 2021, 08:32:47 PM »
We were rather startled at the church we visited Sunday that remaining seated during all singing was pitched as a cautionary measure since (apparently) there is more risk of COVID transmission if people are standing. Imagine standing for the sursum corda and then sitting down for the sanctus, and then standing for the rest of the Eucharistic prayer. I'm not kidding.

Well, as my doc said, "people make s**t up."
That could be the dumbest risk-benefit analysis ever conducted.

And then they went downstairs and had a coffee hour as usual.

Seriously, this made me LOL. And I never share that.

6
Your Turn / Re: Reflections of a pro-life Democrat
« on: October 24, 2021, 06:21:15 PM »
Q.E.D.

And my response to you is also Q.E.D.  You prove my point that you can't even begin to respond to pro-life arguments because you have no response.  You have no way to justify killing innocent children in the womb.  Even though being pregnant can be a challenge, no civilized society (much less a CHRISTIAN) should suggest killing a child as an option.  Instead, we support the mother through her pregnancy and then, if she and the father can't keep the child, we give the child up for adoption.  If you argue that adopting out their child can be emotionally difficult for the parents, that may be.  But their "emotional difficulty" does not trump the child's life!

Simply put, you have no good arguments that support killing a child in the womb simply because he or she is not wanted and would require some amount of sacrifice on the part of the parents.

Indeed, Tom.  Q.E.D.

7
Your Turn / Re: Sunni---Shia Conflict
« on: October 15, 2021, 10:23:59 AM »
What precisely is the cause of violence between Sunnis and Shias?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58925863

The killing / martyrdom of Husayn at Karbala.

8
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: October 06, 2021, 10:21:35 PM »
A: No it isn't. My wife and most of my kids got Covid, and it amounted to the sniffles, not death.

For me and my wife, it was much more significant, and we had no underlying health conditions nor were we particularly old (I'm pretty sure we're about the same age as you).  We seem to have fully recovered and were not hospitalized, but it was one of the worst experiences of a disease in my life, and I'm sure my wife would say the same thing.  A coworker of my wife's was in the hospital for a couple weeks gasping for breath.

We had tried to get the vaccine beforehand but were unable to do so.  Afterwards, we now are vaccinated plus enjoying the benefit of having natural immunity.  I'm pretty excited about that given the studies coming out regarding the strength of natural immunity from having recovered from the virus + receiving a vaccine.

In any case, I wouldn't wish the disease on my worst enemy. It's severity might not be death for everyone who gets it, but minimizing it helps no one and is, frankly, frustrating to read.

9
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: September 28, 2021, 11:17:43 AM »

If you bothered to read any actual conservatives or libertarians, you’d see them to be especially interested in science. Be it space exploration, nuclear power, GMOs, and hard science stuff or “soft science” about human behavior, gender studies, etc, it is usually the left cherry-picking what counts as “science” by defining the leftist position as the osiruon of science. There are people who think biological sex is a construct. They are all anti-science, and they are all on the left. Same with the biology of life’s origins. The pro-choice position is anti-science. The whole reputation of the right being anti science stems mainly from the global warming debate.


I understand the political sympathies and the preference for conservative and Republican views. I don't understand the denials of plain facts. But I guess we have to live with it. (I don't know what theological value belongs to either end of the debate. Seems to me to be none whatsoever.)

Peace, JOHN
Plain facts: human life begins at conception. Biological sex is a matter of objective reality, not a construct. The standard NYT shtick that the GOP is anti-science is really just a matter of trusting the establishment. Rand Paul is a better scientist than Fauci. He regularly points out the real science that contradicts Fauci's propaganda. Sen. Paul is not anti-science, he is anti-Fauci's BS. But for readers of the NYT, to gainsay Fauci is to be anti-science.

Agreed on conception.

Not agreed otherwise. Senator Paul's view is not shared by 99% of physicians.

Still, neither understanding has anything to do with church, theology, Lutheran, or the purpose of this Forum.

Peace, JOHN

I'm not sure about physicians, but based on a University of Chicago study, 95% of biologists agree that life begins at fertilization:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3211703

As the document points out, the operative question is when the fetus deserves legal consideration.  IMO, this question was answered in the the Unborn Victims of Violence Act.


Nope. Both the sperm and the egg have to be living for there to be fertilization. That is, "life" has to exist before fertilization. Biblically, and somewhat through history,  "life" was thought to begin when the beings were given "the breath of life." Even today, "viability" is somewhat defined as when fetuses are able to breath on their own outside the womb.

At conception, a separate, whole and distinct human person is brought into existence.  Shorthand that how you will, it happens well before the baby is able to breathe on its own outside the womb.


Yes, at conception, a separate, whole and distinct human DNA is created. (It can even happen in a petri dish!) However, unless it is implanted properly in a woman's womb, it will not survive. If it is implanted and the mother (another separate, whole and distinct human) dies, so will the child. It is not a viable human being. It cannot live on its own. If the fetus dies and is not removed, the decaying body can poison and kill the mother. For about nine months, it shares a life with the mother. It is not a separate life.

What is a "separate, whole and distinct human DNA?"  Is the human person somehow separable from the human body?  And what is a zygote/embryo/fetus/baby but a whole and distinct human body?

It seems your anthropology, if applied to Our Lord, could quickly slip into Nestorianism, a charge that has been leveled at you before.  I'd advise thinking this through a bit.  That's not to mention the rank utilitarianism in your last several sentences.  And that is not to mention the sophistry of considering a separate, whole and distinct human organism to be something other than a "human being."  Viability is largely a legal construct.  It simply means the separate, whole and distinct human organism (in other words, a human person) cannot live on its own outside the womb.  But the same is true for infants lacking material support, so your argument ends up folding itself into infanticide, since there is no logical reason to grant rights at "viability" if one instead wishes to grant them at "ability to work and produce," and so we can argue that prior to the age children can be totally self-sufficient, we can kill them.
It also means we can kill the handicapped, since many of them are not able to be self-sufficient and thus are not viable. I hear some people argue for abortion in the case of incest on the grounds that it leads to birth defects and I always ask why they think people with birth defects can be killed.

I only check in here occasionally (though as long-timers here will know, I've been involved on this board for over a decade and a half), and I have Brian on "ignore" so I don't read his stuff unless it is quoted like it is above because I don't take him as a serious interlocutor.

That said, in agreement with Peter, the line of argument he uses justifies lots of atrocities, and if you are consistent, you need to accept those atrocities as well.  An article came out a decade ago in the Journal of Medical Ethics seriously arguing for "after birth abortions" (infanticide) of healthy children.  The authors' logic is in agreement with Brian's logic. 

Here's the article, and I include the abstract below:

"Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled."

10
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: September 26, 2021, 07:41:17 PM »
James S. Rustad:
And perhaps we should stop worrying about those who don't get vaccinated as they will soon be immune anyway.
Me:
Or dead.
That would get them out of your hair and no longer troubling your well regulated society.

There is a significant percentage of the population rooting for just this.

[[BTW, as a general statement, get vaccinated]]

11
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Creationists
« on: July 31, 2021, 03:31:48 PM »

This is how the zombie apocalypse starts... ;)


This is a grave accusation.

Tom Pearson

I'm always shambling to one conclusion or another.

12
Your Turn / Re: Lutheran Creationists
« on: July 31, 2021, 11:37:50 AM »
Oh, and to step over the line to the "Coronavirus News" thread -- Isaacson's The Code Breaker also details the work being done on CRISPR that is dedicated to defeating the coronavirus and its many progeny.  The technology is being developed to edit the human genetic germline so that it attacks the DNA of the virus and disables it.  This could be done by editing the germline in human sperm, ova, or embryos.  Editing the germline means that the genome is permanently altered (well, as "permanent" as evolution allows), and passed on then to subsequent generations.

Do we have a problem here?

Tom Pearson

This is how the zombie apocalypse starts... ;)

13
Your Turn / Re: Seminary Education
« on: March 17, 2021, 01:35:24 PM »
Then as the nursing programs have jumped way up the ladder, a question is whether those programs and the necessary certifications can and should include strong religious offerings, or maybe that's already been done. 

Yes, it is. At CUAA all nurses have to take the following courses as part of their curriculum: REL 100 - The Bible; REL 110 - The Christian Faith; and REL 376 - Christian Ethics.

14
Your Turn / Re: Nominees for Concordia Seminary President Announced
« on: February 21, 2021, 06:23:06 PM »
Going back to the discussion of Zoom backgrounds, for those who want to look as pretentious as possible with as little actual investment as possible, there is always Books by the Foot.

15
Your Turn / Re: Professor Fretheim
« on: November 18, 2020, 11:59:31 AM »
Professor Terry Fretheim, long time Old Testament Professor and scholar at Luther Seminary entered the church triumphant yesterday.  I took many classes from him during my time at Luther (1990-1994.)  I appreciate his wisdom and the things that I learned from him.

I'm greatly saddened to hear this.  I lived in Terry's house for a year when I attended Luther in the mid to late '90s.  Memory eternal.

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