Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - JEdwards

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50
1
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: November 18, 2022, 06:15:43 AM »
Perhaps, since neither side - over years - has moved 1 cm towards accepting or in many cases understanding the other; and (should this seem to happen) new objections to either side rise like swamp gas; and since the discussion always calls forth the desire to body-slam Brian to a wing-nut littered garage floor; I suggest the non-discussion just stop.
   Brian and I support the ELCA statement and it’s implications. Others don’t. Status est
   The above posts are examples of why I will not discuss abortion in this forum.
I understand, discussions are so much easier when you're assured from the get go, that you'll be agreed with. Personally, I find much to agree with the ELCA statement, although not everything. What I find difficult to stomach is the attitude that while someone may disagree that many of the babies being killed shouldn’t be, they will support the killing anyway.


Not quite. Many of us don't believe that legislation is the best way to try and reduce the killings.

Then you are Denying Settled Science(TM). Even those who lament the fact acknowledge that legislation is quite effective:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2772683

How effective has the "war on drugs" been at reducing drug addictions and deaths?

Quote
Can you cite real science to support a more effective alternative?


Colorado. https://cdphe.colorado.gov/fpp/about-us/colorados-success-long-acting-reversible-contraception-larc#:~:text=The%20Colorado%20Family%20Planning%20Initiative,whether%20to%20start%20a%20family.
The war on drugs is a red herring, since I provided direct evidence of the real-world effect of legal restrictions on abortion rates. When there is direct evidence that “A” is effective, one can’t refute that evidence by changing the subject and arguing that “B” is ineffective, no matter how many parallels you claim to see between “A” and “B”.

I agree with you that the data from Colorado are encouraging, although the figures do show a that there was a similar trend nationally during the same time period. The proper way to tease out the effect of the Colorado initiative would be to do a difference-in-differences regression, which was not done.

Peace,
Jon

2
Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: November 17, 2022, 07:24:40 AM »
Perhaps, since neither side - over years - has moved 1 cm towards accepting or in many cases understanding the other; and (should this seem to happen) new objections to either side rise like swamp gas; and since the discussion always calls forth the desire to body-slam Brian to a wing-nut littered garage floor; I suggest the non-discussion just stop.
   Brian and I support the ELCA statement and it’s implications. Others don’t. Status est
   The above posts are examples of why I will not discuss abortion in this forum.
I understand, discussions are so much easier when you're assured from the get go, that you'll be agreed with. Personally, I find much to agree with the ELCA statement, although not everything. What I find difficult to stomach is the attitude that while someone may disagree that many of the babies being killed shouldn’t be, they will support the killing anyway.


Not quite. Many of us don't believe that legislation is the best way to try and reduce the killings.

Then you are Denying Settled Science(TM). Even those who lament the fact acknowledge that legislation is quite effective:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2772683

Can you cite real science to support a more effective alternative?

Peace,
Jon


3
Your Turn / Re: Christian Nationalism? No
« on: November 16, 2022, 11:02:23 AM »
In re-reading the history of the liturgical feast of Christ the King, it occurred to me that the decree of Pope Pius XI establishing this feast promoted what today would certainly be classified as Christian Nationalism:

"18. Thus the empire of our Redeemer embraces all men. To use the words of Our immortal predecessor, Pope Leo XIII: "His empire includes not only Catholic nations, not only baptized persons who, though of right belonging to the Church, have been led astray by error, or have been cut off from her by schism, but also all those who are outside the Christian faith; so that truly the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Jesus Christ."[28] Nor is there any difference in this matter between the individual and the family or the State; for all men, whether collectively or individually, are under the dominion of Christ. In him is the salvation of the individual, in him is the salvation of society. "Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved."[29] He is the author of happiness and true prosperity for every man and for every nation. "For a nation is happy when its citizens are happy. What else is a nation but a number of men living in concord?"[30] If, therefore, the rulers of nations wish to preserve their authority, to promote and increase the prosperity of their countries, they will not neglect the public duty of reverence and obedience to the rule of Christ. What We said at the beginning of Our Pontificate concerning the decline of public authority, and the lack of respect for the same, is equally true at the present day. "With God and Jesus Christ," we said, "excluded from political life, with authority derived not from God but from man, the very basis of that authority has been taken away, because the chief reason of the distinction between ruler and subject has been eliminated. The result is that human society is tottering to its fall, because it has no longer a secure and solid foundation."[31]

"19. When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. "You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men."[32] If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished...

"25. Moreover, the annual and universal celebration of the feast of the Kingship of Christ will draw attention to the evils which anticlericalism has brought upon society in drawing men away from Christ, and will also do much to remedy them. While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights...

"31. When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state...

"32. Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for his kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.


https://www.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_11121925_quas-primas.html

It is noteworthy that this decree was issued during the early years of Mussolini's rule.

So, as we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, what should we make of the history of the Feast?  Was the focus on the temporal kingship of Christ a blunder in 1925?  Appropriate in 1925 but not today? Still appropriate today?  Has the Holy Spirit guided the evolution of this feast from a misguided focus on political goals to a more profitable focus on Spiritual Kingship?

Peace,
Jon


4
Your Turn / Re: Third Use of the Law Is Legalism
« on: September 06, 2022, 04:36:12 PM »
Do you believe that  a believer who is perfectly led by the Holy Spirit needs the Law?
No.  A believer who is perfectly led by the Holy Spirit has does not need the Law.  But this is a statement that is "vacuously true"; i.e., the conclusion cannot be contradicted because the premise is never fulfilled.  Making vacuously true statements does not advance an argument.

Peace,
Jon

5
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 26, 2022, 12:03:16 PM »
A good summary of the problems associated with this decision:

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/articles/2022/08/25/forgiving-student-loans-is-a-costly-mistake

Peace,
Jon

6
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 25, 2022, 10:59:52 AM »
A government plan to pay off the mortgages of any family who makes less that 250k per year would certainly benefit a lot of people. It would be similarly absurd and similarly unjust to people who didn't buy a house because they didn't think they could afford one. Unless everyone gets ten thousand dollars, giving it only to people who took out student loans is an arbitrary favoring of one class of people at the expense of the others.
True, but as Justice Scalia used to point out, the federal courts are not empowered to right every wrong.  Sometimes, it needs to be done through the political process.  Virtually every federal program benefits some people and leaves others out. 

Again, I'm not an expert, but I suspect that a claim by Congress that the President is infringing on its prerogatives is much more likely to fly than a claim by an individual that he or she is being treated unfairly.

Peace,
Jon

7
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 25, 2022, 10:45:23 AM »
I read something this morning about the legal justification the Biden is using to say he has the ability to take this step. It seems to me rather flimsy.  I have long been concerned about what we used to deride as the "imperial presidency" governing through executive orders and attaching notes to signed legislation which can effectively neuter the legislation.  It seems to me we are looking at another example.  Both parties are guilty of this (remember Obama's line that he had a pen and a phone after the GOP gained control of the Congress and George Bush was the great user of notes attached to signed laws).

I would appreciate it if someone who knows more than I do about the legal authority Biden is asserting that he has to take this step and if what we might expect from lawsuits against it.
A potential obstacle to a legal challenge is that federal courts will not entertain lawsuits without a "concrete and particularized" injury.  Merely asserting that your tax money is being spent illegally is insufficient (and for good reason -- can you imagine how bogged down the federal courts would otherwise be?).  So who is injured? I'm less certain of this, but I suspect that even members of Congress, acting as individuals, would not be allowed to file a challenge.  Either House of Congress, as an institution, could probably make a case that its prerogatives are being infringed, which means that the viability of a legal challenge will depend on who controls Congress.

Peace,
Jon

8
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 25, 2022, 09:13:55 AM »
https://www.newsweek.com/student-loan-forgiveness-left-wing-trickle-down-economics-opinion-1734963

I'm not sure I quite get the comparison to "trickle down economics" or agree with it, but this guy has his finger on the pulse of how this new benevolent decree is going to go over politically. It is almost like a fire sale benefitting a party that knows it has lost its traditional base and isn't getting it back.
Tim Ryan, the Democratic candidate for US Senate in Ohio, is campaigning as a traditional union Democrat and trying to distance himself from Biden.  He put out a tweet criticizing this move.

Peace,
Jon

9
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 24, 2022, 04:47:55 PM »
Nope, not everyone. The report I saw this morning limited it to graduates who were making less than $125,000/year.
Keep in mind, though, that people making over $125,000 have a fair amount of flexibility in when to realize income.  I assume that the $125K figure refers to adjusted gross income, which excludes contributions to employer-provided health insurance, elective 401(k) contributions, and so forth.  Given the stock market's performance this year, it would not be too difficult to strategically sell investments to book a loss.  So someone with gross wages of $170,000 could fairly easily get to an AGI of less than $125,000.

Peace,
Jon

10
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 24, 2022, 08:03:30 AM »
If you oppose the forgiving of student loans, how can you proclaim God's grace which forgives us for much more? How can you pray the Lord's Prayer that calls us to be as forgiving as God is forgiving (and the biblical versions talk about forgiving DEBTS)?
Why stop with student loans?  How about starting a campaign for INCOME TAX JUBILEE 2022?  Then those unforgiving, hard-hearted citizens will at least be spared having to pay the taxes to forgive the student loan debt.

Peace,
Jon

11
Your Turn / Re: Justice and the role of government
« on: August 24, 2022, 07:59:18 AM »
While I am more liberal on economic policy than most in this forum, I believe this particular policy is unwise and unjust.  Underlying many of our policy debates, in my opinion, is an inherent tension between promoting personal responsibility and promoting social solidarity.  This policy manages to hinder both goals.  It rewards debt rather than frugality and labor.  It is regressive -- a lot of student debt is owed by high-income professionals, who will be subsidized at the expense of the less financially well-off.

While I agree with Charles that an educated populace is a good thing, college is not the only or the best place for everyone to get a socially useful education.  Enlistees in the military arguably get a better practical education in diversity than many college grads.  Their knowledge of what combat is actually like probably contributes to more sound decisions about war and peace than the casual approach to war taken by some college-educated hawks with no military background.  The army is currently struggling to meet recruitment goals.  Perhaps an enlistment bonus would be a better use of public funds than student loan forgiveness?

My wife teaches high-school level math at a local public university.  Her students don't have the math skills to start the lowest-level college courses.  In some cases, they have the aptitude, but experienced disruption or were just lazy in high school.  But in too many cases, she is trying to teach algebra to students who simply do not have the academic gifts to achieve a meaningful college degree, but who through a combination of perverse incentives will stay in college for a few years before reaching that conclusion.  Loaning them money to prolong the process provides no benefit either to them or to society.

Peace,
Jon

12
Your Turn / Re: Christianity and climate
« on: August 22, 2022, 04:31:59 PM »
I guess you're welcome to think that.  As someone who lives in the suburbs, drives every day, and owns 4 gas-powered vehicles, I sure hope that climate change is a less severe problem than some are forecasting, because I would rather not make dramatic changes in my lifestyle.  But I submit that you would not start worrying more about climate change if the following declaration attracted thousands of signatures:  "In just the last three months, we have had unprecedented floods in Kentucky.  England and Portugal recorded their hottest temperatures ever, and thousands of heat-related deaths have occurred in Europe.  It's time to stop allowing financially-conflicted, entrenched interests to stymie needed policies to combat climate change."  Not that you necessarily should.  My point is that some arguments are simply too weak to move my emotional barometer one way or another.  Not because I want them to be false, but because I don't have the energy for the emotional roller-coaster of hope and despair every time anyone issues a new declaration about anything.

Peace,
Jon
I agree that we bring a hope-bias to what we read. My point about the climate religion is that it stems from a hope-bias against rather than for our civilization. I don't deny having a hope bias for civilization. I think lack of such a bias is a character flaw, like looking at your own parents with objective detachment. And a bias in the other direction is dogmatic madness, like rooting for the tumor on a visit to the oncologist.
Sure, with the caveat that I'm not sure exactly what viewpoints you include in "the climate religion" or what degree of proactive adaptation one can advocate without being guilty of rooting against civilization.  At one extreme, I think we would agree that someone who argues, "The evidence for impending climate catastrophe is so unequivocal that the whole world needs to adopt a forced one-child policy" is a dogmatic fanatic who is rooting against civilization, or at least doesn't value critical elements of civilization.  On the other hand, someone who says, "I find the consensus climate models to be sufficiently concerning that I support a modest carbon tax" may or may not be advocating sound policy, but I wouldn't consider such a person to be a dogmatic zealot who is rooting against civilization.

Centuries after the fact and enlightened by God's Word, we know that the prophet Jeremiah had a hope-bias in favor of civilization.  But it probably didn't seem that way to those who couldn't envision the survival of civilization apart from the continued reign of Zedekiah or at least the continued existence of the Temple and the Kingdom of Judah.

Peace,
Jon

13
Your Turn / Re: Christianity and climate
« on: August 22, 2022, 01:20:15 PM »
I guess you're welcome to think that.  As someone who lives in the suburbs, drives every day, and owns 4 gas-powered vehicles, I sure hope that climate change is a less severe problem than some are forecasting, because I would rather not make dramatic changes in my lifestyle.  But I submit that you would not start worrying more about climate change if the following declaration attracted thousands of signatures:  "In just the last three months, we have had unprecedented floods in Kentucky.  England and Portugal recorded their hottest temperatures ever, and thousands of heat-related deaths have occurred in Europe.  It's time to stop allowing financially-conflicted, entrenched interests to stymie needed policies to combat climate change."  Not that you necessarily should.  My point is that some arguments are simply too weak to move my emotional barometer one way or another.  Not because I want them to be false, but because I don't have the energy for the emotional roller-coaster of hope and despair every time anyone issues a new declaration about anything.

Peace,
Jon

14
Your Turn / Re: Christianity and climate
« on: August 22, 2022, 11:19:38 AM »
I receive (unsolicited) a blog from a prominent (at least online) ELCA pastor whom I personally know only a little bit. Recently one of the articles mentioned his increasing despair about climate change and our inadequate response to it. I think he is not alone, and that many people deal with personal despair and/or meaninglessness because of climate politics. So you'd think the following would offer a glimmer of hope:

https://clintel.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/WCD-version-06272215121.pdf

But I don't think it will. I think it is the sort of thing that those who despair because of the climate will react to with anger or disdain. Note: they aren't denying that the climate is changing, nor that mankind could have something to do with it. They're saying it isn't an emergency and doesn't justify the common responses to it. They're claiming the response to the news is not data-driven but faulty-model-driven.

So why wouldn't that idea be good news to those despairing over the climate? I think it is because it questions a religious dogma. I also think that for many people, the response is the point. The actual climate it is the pretext. If someone invented an amazing carbon-scrubber that eliminated carbon emissions from the atmosphere, these people would find some other reason to oppose development and to call for for global control of first world economies.
I don't have any expertise in this area, and I'm certainly open to the idea that current models are flawed.  But my thinking on the subject isn't really changed by a document with one page containing six conclusory statements and 37 pages of artwork and signatories.  Many of the signatories list various relevant credentials, while others identify themselves as "IT consultant," "Radiologist," or "Organizer of a Critical Climate Group."  One of the signatories, Dr. Richard Lindzen, has been accused of lying about whether any of his research was funded by energy companies.  In 2004, he offered to bet that the Earth's climate would be cooler in 20 years, but when someone took him up on it, he demanded 50-to-1 odds in his favor.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Richard_S._Lindzen

Peace,
Jon

15
In view of the bolded words from your post above, the fact is that certain beliefs or behaviors ARE a matter of salvation!  When Paul commanded that the incestuous man in Corinth be excommunicated it was precisely because his eternal salvation was at stake.  When people willingly rebel against God's word and affirm sin that He condemns (see Romans 1:32 and 1st Corinthians 6:9-10) their SALVATION IS AT STAKE whether they believe it or not.

A problem I see with the way you are using these verses is that I don't believe that they were intended to be about "them." There is a long list of sins in Romans 1:29-31 before he gets to v. 32.

Those who look at the list and accuse "them" of such wickedness (ἀδικία, v. 29) usually fail to read 2:1: "So every single one of you who judge others is without any excuse. You condemn yourself when you judge another person because the one who is judging is doing the same things." It's highly likely that we will see some of those unjust (ἀδικία) acts within our own lives.

Similarly with 1 Cor 6:9-10. Those who will not inherit the kingdom of God are the ἄδικοι - the unjust, unrighteous (v. 29). It's also highly likely that we can find some of those unjust acts listed in the verses in our own lives. I'm not sure that any American can claim not to be greedy (literally, πλεονέκτα means "having and/or desiring more than one needs") when we compare ourselves to most people around the planet. I also note that of the 10 ἄδικοι listed in 6:9-10, 4 of them are listed in 5:10 as occurring among people in the world; and 6 of them are in 5:11 as acts that people within the congregation were doing. He stresses our need to deal with such sinners within our congregations; but we can do little about the people of the world.

In a similar way, chapter 6 begins with arguing that disagreements among believers should be handled by believers. We shouldn't be taking them to outsiders for arbitration. We have seen many cases where the secular courts have been brought in to make decisions in regards to congregational issues. This also suggests that should church members be guilty of the injustices listed in 9-10, the church needs to deal with them; but when it's happening among people of the world; that's outside our jurisdiction. If the ἄδικοι are not going to inherit the kingdom of God, that's God's decision, not ours.

There is enough ἄδικοι in our own lives to deal with rather than worrying about all the ἄδικοs that's present in the world. We pray and hope and rely on the grace of God through Jesus to transform our ἄδικοs into δίκαιος through δικαιούμενος.
I agree with you that it would be a misuse of Scripture to read this pericope without recognizing the need that all of us have to repent of our personal ἄδικοs.  I agree with you that it would be a misuse of Scripture to claim that this pericope teaches that homosexual conduct is more heinous or less forgivable than any of the other specific examples given.  One could rationally argue (wrongly, in my view, but at least rationally) that the Church ought to refrain from specific teaching against any ἄδικοs lest her members misuse Scripture in one of these ways.  But this is not how the ELCA actually teaches.  Ayn Rand wrote a whole book entitled The Virtue of Selfishness, but the ELCA doesn't give Ayn Rand devotees a pass by refraining from teaching against greed, because, after all,  πλεονέκτα is only one of many vices listed in Romans, and the point is not to highlight the faults of others but rather to recognize our own need for repentance.  In fact, the ELCA Social Statement on Economic Life teaches that "excessive accumulation and consumerism driven by greed, gross economic disparities, and the degradation of nature are incompatible with this reign of God." Does your critique of Pr. Eckstein also apply to this language from an ELCA social statement?

Peace,
Jon

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 50