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Messages - James_Gale

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16
Your Turn / Re: Church of Sweden elects new archbishop
« on: June 10, 2022, 12:15:15 AM »
How united are Lutherans in Sweden? Will Archbishop Modéus serve them all, or are there Lutherans who do not recognize him?
Over half the population still belongs formally to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden, which was the established state church until about 20 years ago. A very small number of Lutherans have broken away. The biggest challenge facing the old state church comes not from other Lutheran bodies but from those falling into agnosticism and secularism. Many maintain formal membership in honor of tradition and to gain access to church weddings, funerals, and burial.
Is there a split like the one in Finland, where the Lutheran churches don't seem to recognize each other much if at all? We had a thread here not so long ago about religious freedom in Finland where the difference was a factor.

Peace,
Michael


It’s not the same dynamic in Sweden. The former state church has no major divisions and there are very very few Lutherans outside the old state church.

17
Your Turn / Re: Church of Sweden elects new archbishop
« on: June 09, 2022, 10:52:15 PM »
How united are Lutherans in Sweden? Will Archbishop Modéus serve them all, or are there Lutherans who do not recognize him?

The RC Archbishop of Stockholm is Cardinal Anders Arborelius.

Peace,
Michael


Over half the population still belongs formally to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sweden, which was the established state church until about 20 years ago. A very small number of Lutherans have broken away. The biggest challenge facing the old state church comes not from other Lutheran bodies but from those falling into agnosticism and secularism. Many maintain formal membership in honor of tradition and to gain access to church weddings, funerals, and burial.

18
Your Turn / Re: ELCA Opposes Repeal of Roe v. Wade?
« on: May 18, 2022, 07:21:42 PM »
I was curious on what grounds it opposes repeal.  From the statement:

"I recognize that the leaked court draft does not represent the Supreme Court's ruling in its final form; nevertheless, it contradicts this church's teaching. This church teaches that abortion and reproductive health care, including contraception, must be legal and accessible."

Yet it cites only to its own Social Statement, which itself cites to Scripture only to stress the value of life.  I assume, then, as the current statement seems to say, the ELCA speaks only for itself, and makes no attempt to derive this teaching that "abortion and reproductive health care, including contraception, must be legal and accessible" from any Scriptural or Patristic foundation at all.

It seems to me, then, that this is simply the ELCA embracing secular and, let's be honest, partisan, politics over and against the consistent teaching of the Church throughout history.  So we know where they stand, and why they stand there.


Bp. Eaton's statement is flatly untrue.  The draft Supreme Court opinion does not even deal with whether "abortion and reproductive health care" should be "legal and accessible."  It does not turn on whether the Constitution or other laws should enshrine a legal right to abortion.  Instead, it depends entirely on a conclusion that the US Constitution--for good or ill--does not codify such a right. 


The ELCA doesn't even try to argue that the Constitution enshrines a right to abort an unborn child.  By mischaracterizing the Court's role and the draft opinion, the ELCA unfortunately joins those on both sides of the political spectrum who are all too willing to undercut our governing institutions in pursuit of political ends. 


I disagree strongly with the ELCA's current position on abortion.  But why couldn't the Bp. Eaton have been honest about the draft opinion?  Like this:  "The Court's draft opinion concludes that the Constitution does not protect a woman's (or, ugh, birthing person's) right to abortion.  We don't agree with the Court's analysis.  That said, the Court's draft opinion does not turn on whether abortion rights should be protected in law.  The draft left those questions to Congress and to state legislatures, where we will continue our fight for reproductive rights."

19
Your Turn / The Future of Anglicanism [in Britain] is African
« on: May 03, 2022, 09:05:14 PM »
I came across an article by British writer named Tomiwa Owolade. You all may find it interesting. Is (or will) something similar happen in the US?


Here’s a link to the article:  Link


Here’s the conclusion:


”In general, black British people are more than twice as likely to say religion is [color=rgb(27, 27, 27) !important]very important[/color][/size] to them. Most black British believers are Christian. Yet the centrality of Christianity to black British identity is hardly spoken about. Saka treasures his music record and his football. But on Instagram, his name is not Bukayo Saka but “God’s Child”.
Christianity can accommodate tension. It is both radical and conservative: it proclaims the downtrodden will inherit the earth and it praises life-long monogamy. It incorporates the puritanical fervour of Leviticus and the ravishing sensuality of the Song of Solomon. Its central figure is both a man who was abused and spat on and crucified, like a slave, but also a figure of transcendent divinity. What can be more beautifully Christian than the fact its future in the bosom of what was once the largest empire in the world is now being sustained by communities it once colonised?”

20
Your Turn / Re: Prayer service for Concordia University-Wisconsin
« on: February 24, 2022, 11:08:00 PM »
Here is Concordia's published profile of the president they hope to hire.

https://www.cuw.edu/microsites/president-search/_assets/documents/Candidate_Profile.pdf

"Ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound" is, of course, implied but not stated outright.

Peace,
Michael


As a one-time Board chair at a Lutheran college, I was actively involved in leading a presidential search. Our consultant told us that when colleges are asked to describe the person that they hoped to hire, they almost always set a standard that only Jesus could live up to, and even he only on his best days.

21
Your Turn / Re: March for Life
« on: January 24, 2022, 03:40:50 PM »
Even a cursory glance at proposed legislation in many states that would outlaw abortion shows that most do not include any exceptions at all


I’d be very interested to see examples gleaned from your “cursory glance.”  I don’t think that I’ve seen any proposed anti-abortion law that does not include an exception where continuing a pregnancy would put the mother’s health (or life) at risk. I would be interested to see proposals that depart from this approach.  Some proposals do indeed omit rape and incest exceptions. 

22
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 26, 2021, 07:37:51 AM »
Alright, let's try to get this straight.  Point 1--Kyle Rittenhouse was not a white bigot out to support the suppression of minorities.  Point 2--Kyle Rittenhouse had no business being there in the first place, he was not providing effective protection for a community not his own.  Point 3--Kyle Rittenhouse was under attack when he used his weapon and I doubt any of us would have behaved differently had we been in the same situation.  Point 4--Kyle Rittenhouse is neither a hero nor a villain.  Point 5--Kyle Rittenhouse is a 17 year old boy and what he did was caused by the lack of impulse control and the desire to be seen as a man common among 17 year old boys.  Point 6--Kyle Rittenhouse probably does not understand that his so-called supporters don't care diddly about him, but are abusing him while they use him for their own political purposes.

BTW--point 6 also applies to Greta Thunberg.

I quibble only slightly with point 2 -- he worked in Kenosha and stayed there frequently with his dad.  So it was his community.  I grant he was providing no effective protection.


Moreover, Antioch, Illinois, is part of the same general community as Kenosha.


I also think that Rittenhouse has at least some understanding of point 6 as a result of being exploited by Lin Wood and his cohort. That said, he would be well served by getting away for a time from the interview circuit/circus and from politicians.

23
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 26, 2021, 07:00:51 AM »
"H.R.6070 - To award a Congressional Gold Medal to Kyle H. Rittenhouse, who protected the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020."

It's come to this.   Rittenhouse is considered to be a hero worthy of a  Congressional Gold. Medal.  The people who. defended the Capitol on January 6th were not worthy of such recognition.


The people who defended the Capitol did receive the Congressional Gold Medal. Are you saying that they should not have?

24
Your Turn / Re: Christian Response to Brunswick GA trial
« on: November 24, 2021, 03:05:59 PM »
The other “showcase“ trial is over.
All three defendants were convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery. Arbery was a black man whom  they chased because he was running through their neighborhood. He was unarmed. The defendants, all white, were not. They claimed self-defense, presumably because of a brief struggle with Arbery. They claimed to be making a “citizens arrest” though the incident did not meet the standards for that under Georgia law.
I think Georgia mandates a life sentence in cases like this.


The only question, I believe, is whether to leave open a possibility decades down the road for parole.

25
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 09:54:35 PM »
The mainstream media tried to convict Rittenhouse in the court of public opinion.
By their character assassination they said he was guilty before the jury said not guilty.
One of the problems in our justice system is permitting televised trials.  It is possible
for attorneys on both sides to play to the camera rather than seeking out the facts of
the case. Then you have President Biden using poor judgment in publicly commenting
about the verdict......"Keep calm.......I am angry".

Although, if this trial had NOT been televised, how many people would know the facts from the mainstream media coverage?  How many would have instead bought the media's line that Mr. Rittenhouse was an angry white supremacist vigilante who went crossed state lines, gun in hand, intent on gunning down poor black men who were only peacefully (mostly) protesting the murder of another poor black man by more angry white cops?  That is, the televised trial at least gave those who cared enough to watch the true facts and not the myriad lies told by the journalists pushing their own agenda.


One more point. Where would Mr. Rittenhouse have been without the legion of independent photo-journalists who recorded the events of the evening at issue?  The video evidence made it impossible for authorities to misrepresent what happened. Without that evidence, who knows what the jury would have believed.

26
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 04:53:53 PM »
And the people who want to turn him into a hero and an advocate of the pro self-defense, gun rights enthusiasts are also wrong.


I would not call him a hero for his role in the events that led to his trial.  I agree that it is a mistake to hold him up as one.  Heck, I don't know whether he's even a nice or upstanding guy.  Holding anyone up as a hero is always fraught.  That's especially true regarding people about whom we frankly know very little.


The argument that most here are making, I think, is not that Rittenhouse is a hero.  Rather, it is that he has been a victim of political persecution.  The case for that, which focuses less on Rittenhouse than on those who have gone after him, is certainly plausible.     


I have no idea whether Rittenhouse will become a prominent civil-rights spokesman or an activist on Second Amendment issues.  That will depend on many factors, including Rittenhouse's character.


He may also become an advocate for criminal-justice reform.  If so, he would be pressing the same causes as many of those who now are aggressively assailing his character.


Incidentally, the most immediate villains is this play (from Rittenhouse's perspective) seem to be attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce.  They together run a foundation that put up much of Rittenhouse's bond money.  The allegation is that they intentionally left Rittenhouse in jail for over two months so that they could continue to use his incarceration to raise money for the foundation.  Wood, of course, was linked to some of the craziest Trumpian claims about election integrity.


I suspect that some defamation claims also may be coming.  If Nick Sandmann's experience is at all relevant, some of those claims may well yield settlements or judgments.  If any of those matters proceed to discovery, we may learn a great deal more--good or bad--about Kyle Rittenhouse.  After all, in civil cases, a plaintiff has no basis for refusing to answer questions.

27
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 03:44:39 PM »
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/11/20/kyle-rittenhouse-verdict-reinforces-american-tradition-523114

The opening couple of paragraphs (bold added): Although Kyle Rittenhouse stood trial for shooting three white men, millions of Americans saw a bigger issue at play. Rittenhouse had traveled to Kenosha, Wis., and taken up arms because he, a white teen, was riled up by protesters demanding justice after the police shooting of yet another Black man, Jacob Blake. In this sense, the acquittal was another in a long line of legal wins for an undying force in this country: White animus against Black grievance.

In the annals of American history, white animus against Black grievance is always justified, it seems, whether the targets of the animus are Black or not. Ultimately, the animus has the power to override everything — the law, the Constitution, a sense of decency, appeals to the notion of One America. Now that a jury has found Rittenhouse not guilty on all counts, the justice system has only reinforced the validity of that animus, giving it alarming new currency, and legitimacy.


Not only does this author insist on seeing the trial as between larger social forces represented by the defendant's intersectional group identity status, which is injustice on steroids, but the author also takes as read the validity of violence and mayhem and the fact that it was injustice they were protesting. Manifestly, Rittenhouse was not at all riled up about protesters seeking justice. He was riled up about protesters burning down a car dealership. And very debatably was it even justice they were demanding. They were demonstrating in response to the police responding to an emergency call from a distressed mother and shooting a deranged, armed, violent maniac in the act of kidnapping children. But if you just read this article, you'd think the Kenosha police used some random black man for target practice, then when someone raised peaceful objections to that, Rittenhouse showed up as an armed vigilante from out of state and just started mowing them down during their prayer vigil.


This kind of analysis invariably ignores the facts before the jury and the law that the jury must apply to those facts.  A criminal defendant is not an archetype.  Courts do not (or should not) decide cases in accordance with some narrative-driven template.  By invoking the narrative, it's not all that hard to excite public passion.  But doing this betrays a misunderstanding (or a knowing mischaracterization?) of courts' roles.  People writing this swill wanted Rittenhouse convicted because of the categories into which they had assigned him--white supremacist, vigilante, out-of-state interloper, aggressor.  The actual evidence was almost wholly contrary to this narrative.  But facts just don't matter, even to political and religious leaders who should know better; or perhaps do know better and don't care.

28
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 12:36:51 PM »
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/19/kyle-rittenhouse-conviction-america-white-privilege

From the article: Neither side disagreed that the 18-year-old intended to shoot Anthony M Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz. They don’t disagree that the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 is a dangerous weapon. However, under Wisconsin’s self-defense statutes, Rittenhouse was allowed to use deadly force, even if he provoked the 25 August attack, if he “reasonably believed” it was necessary to prevent his own death. Even though he traveled to the city and walked into a chaotic scene with a killing machine.

My understanding is that the bolded part, once again, is the opposite of the truth. The prosecution's closing arguments would have been entirely moot if it didn't matter under the law whether Rittenhouse provoked the attack. And once again, the article's reasoning is that white people are unreasonably afraid of black protesters. But the protesters under consideration weren't black. This is yet another article that simply illustrates that the leftist narrative of race is impervious to correction because it prevails in people's minds over basic facts.

You are correct.  If Rittenhouse provoked the attack, he loses the self-defense privilege.  The problem is not that Rittenhouse can claim self-defense if he provoked the attack.  The problem is the jury heard all the evidence and did not believe Rittenhouse provoked the attack.

Really, that statement is probably just a statement from ignorance, but if it's serious, then it's an attack on the jury and its collective judgment.  And if that's the case, I can only say the Guardian is based in the U.K., and we separated from them for a reason.


Many people seem to be applying a dictionary definition of provocation. They think that Rittenhouse provoked the attack simply by being present with an openly carrier rifle. He had no business being there, especially in the role he was playing. He (like a woman wearing seductive clothing) was asking for it. The prosecutor’s only hope of winning the case was that the jury would define provocation this way.


The problem, of course, is that the statute defines provocation much more narrowly. To qualify, an act must be illegal and must be likely to provoke others to attack. Being present and legally carrying a rifle falls outside the definition. The prosecutors therefore had to rely on nothing more than a blurry video that they argue was evidence of Rittenhouse aiming his rifle at bystanders. The jury rejected this argument.


Interestingly, the prosecutors did not expect to rely on a provocation theory. They wanted to argue straight up that Rittenhouse’s actions did not entitle him to invoke the self-defense privilege. But the state’s witnesses almost all were disastrous for the state’s case. Grosskreuz (the person shot in the arm after aiming his pistol at Rittenhouse), in particular, gave devastatingly bad testimony on cross-examination. And DeBruin (who videotaped part of the event) testified that prosecutors had pressured him to change his statement, implying that they wanted him to stretch the truth or lie. Prosecutors by the end really had nothing more than provocation to argue. And that argument was very weak indeed.


Better lawyering might have given the state a chance. It was certainly lacking here.

I agree.  When I was talking to my assistant about it, I told her this case, like the George Zimmerman case, was likely lost in opening statements.  In both cases, the prosecution vastly overstated the case, to the extent of claiming they would prove the opposite of what actually happened -- that the defendant was the aggressor.  In this case, the prosecutor actually said they would prove Rittenhouse chased Rosenbaum down and shot him in the back.

Now, it doesn't help when the witness testimony is the opposite of that, as in the Zimmerman trial.  But here, they also had video evidence, and no reasonable person could conclude that Rittenhouse chased Rosenbaum down and shot him in the back.  It's simply not what happened.  It's the opposite of what happened.

Their best chance was proving the Rosenbaum killing was not justified because Rosenbaum was unarmed and Rittenhouse should have known better than to use lethal force.  From that flows provocation for the remaining attacks, if the jury makes that connection.  They did argue that in closing, but the problem is they'd already lost all credibility by the time they got to that point.


The medical examiner (or perhaps another forensic expert) called by the state did testify that one of the Rosenbaum entry wounds was in his back. But he freely admitted on cross that this was consistent with the video and the defense theory and not at all consistent with the state’s. It’s as if the prosecutors never interviewed or prepared their own witnesses.

29
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 23, 2021, 12:14:56 PM »
www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/nov/19/kyle-rittenhouse-conviction-america-white-privilege

From the article: Neither side disagreed that the 18-year-old intended to shoot Anthony M Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum and Gaige Grosskreutz. They don’t disagree that the Smith & Wesson M&P 15 is a dangerous weapon. However, under Wisconsin’s self-defense statutes, Rittenhouse was allowed to use deadly force, even if he provoked the 25 August attack, if he “reasonably believed” it was necessary to prevent his own death. Even though he traveled to the city and walked into a chaotic scene with a killing machine.

My understanding is that the bolded part, once again, is the opposite of the truth. The prosecution's closing arguments would have been entirely moot if it didn't matter under the law whether Rittenhouse provoked the attack. And once again, the article's reasoning is that white people are unreasonably afraid of black protesters. But the protesters under consideration weren't black. This is yet another article that simply illustrates that the leftist narrative of race is impervious to correction because it prevails in people's minds over basic facts.

You are correct.  If Rittenhouse provoked the attack, he loses the self-defense privilege.  The problem is not that Rittenhouse can claim self-defense if he provoked the attack.  The problem is the jury heard all the evidence and did not believe Rittenhouse provoked the attack.

Really, that statement is probably just a statement from ignorance, but if it's serious, then it's an attack on the jury and its collective judgment.  And if that's the case, I can only say the Guardian is based in the U.K., and we separated from them for a reason.


Many people seem to be applying a dictionary definition of provocation. They think that Rittenhouse provoked the attack simply by being present with an openly carrier rifle. He had no business being there, especially in the role he was playing. He (like a woman wearing seductive clothing) was asking for it. The prosecutor’s only hope of winning the case was that the jury would define provocation this way.


The problem, of course, is that the statute defines provocation much more narrowly. To qualify, an act must be illegal and must be likely to provoke others to attack. Being present and legally carrying a rifle falls outside the definition. The prosecutors therefore had to rely on nothing more than a blurry video that they argue was evidence of Rittenhouse aiming his rifle at bystanders. The jury rejected this argument.


Interestingly, the prosecutors did not expect to rely on a provocation theory. They wanted to argue straight up that Rittenhouse’s actions did not entitle him to invoke the self-defense privilege. But the state’s witnesses almost all were disastrous for the state’s case. Grosskreuz (the person shot in the arm after aiming his pistol at Rittenhouse), in particular, gave devastatingly bad testimony on cross-examination. And DeBruin (who videotaped part of the event) testified that prosecutors had pressured him to change his statement, implying that they wanted him to stretch the truth or lie. Prosecutors by the end really had nothing more than provocation to argue. And that argument was very weak indeed.


Better lawyering might have given the state a chance. It was certainly lacking here.

30
Your Turn / Re: Christian response to Rittenhouse trial
« on: November 22, 2021, 08:04:59 PM »
This may be a naive question. Would it have been possible for the Kenosha police/city council to have banned weapons from those entering the protest area? It seems to me that could have been a prudent thing to do.


I don’t know. It would likely depend on how much local control is permitted by state law.


For this to work, we enforcement, backed by the National Guard would have had to protect people and property downtown. They decided instead to pull back and let the rioters do their thing.

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