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Messages - peter_speckhard

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1
OK this is kind of geeky.  But in my second year of prep school in Milwaukee, we were taught English by a biology professor who really only knew from taxonomic organization - so we spent the entire term diagramming sentences.  Which is very cool, actually, in understanding how words get put together.  Useful for preachers.  I like writing in long sentences with all kinds of meandering.  But preaching is for short sentences.  Subject/object/verb.  Boom, boom, boom.  Unless you're telling a story in the sermon, in which case all bets are off.

This takes us to the Pledge of Allegiance, which is a diagrammer's late nite challenge.  Check this out:  http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/diagrams2/pledge.htm.

The pledge is to the flag and to that for which it stands - the republic.  What is the republic? 
One nation
Under God
Indivisible
With (for all) liberty and justice. 

I had only assumed that last component.  We're not saying justice is for all, but not liberty, are we?  So the diagram has to put "for all" in front of liberty and justice.  Unless some ne'er do well thinks that our republic stands for justice for all, but not liberty for all.

Dave Benke
Some tangentially related lore. RJN’s mother, my grandmother, who taught me to play scrabble for blood, considered correct grammar to be as indispensable as liberty and justice. One time when my mom called her in tears to commiserate about a genuinely terrible time my rebellious brother was going through in his late teens, Grandma Neuhaus responded, “It’s because he never learned to diagram sentences.”

2
That is, Peter, the classic distinction without a difference.
"One nation, under God" still requires a thought as to which God and whose God.
Otherwise, we would say "one nation, under (we think) some God somewhere (if there is a God), indivisible, with liberty and..."
It is not a distinction without a difference. Unlike Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union, we insist our state is at best penultimate.


For about 1/2 of the 129 years since the Pledge of Allegiance was created, "under God," was not part of it. It was added in 1954 to show that America was not like atheistic communist Russia.


The three different versions are listed below.


Original: 1892 Francis Bellamy
"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
 
1923
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
 
1954
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
That’s because it went without saying among people whose culture was formed by Christendom that every nation and government is under God. Only when confronted by overt denial of it by the Soviets, Nazis, and in a different way Imperial Japan did it suddenly become necessary to state the obvious.

3
Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: Yesterday at 09:22:33 PM »
It’s amazing how the non-Lutheran churches are always inspiration for us to learn from until they stop parroting progressives. Then they’re dangerous heretics. And we are always too strict about policing doctrine unless it is other conservative churches. Then we’re too lax in putting up with them.

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Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: Yesterday at 06:17:23 PM »
We don't have a version of God. We have God. When we recite the pledge, He is the God we're talking about. When those who are perishing recite the pledge, it may be the Flying Spaghetti Monster they have in mind for all I know. That matters is that they are not claiming the highest place for the constitution, the elected government, or the general existence of the United States.

This distinction matters. Our rights are not conferred by the constitution or government. They are recognized by the constitution and government as coming from a higher power that the Constitution and government have no authority to contradict. 

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Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: Yesterday at 02:26:54 PM »
That is, Peter, the classic distinction without a difference.
"One nation, under God" still requires a thought as to which God and whose God.
Otherwise, we would say "one nation, under (we think) some God somewhere (if there is a God), indivisible, with liberty and..."
It is not a distinction without a difference. Unlike Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union, we insist our state is at best penultimate.

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Your Turn / Re: The Church's Response to Government and Governing
« on: Yesterday at 12:43:00 PM »
I think it is an important point to insist that “under God” is a description of the United States, not God. The key is that we acknowledge that our nation can never be our highest priority. It is a great nation, but cannot bear up under the burden of being deified, nor can it make sense as understood in a completely materialistic, atheistic framework.

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Your Turn / Re: Demands to take things seriously
« on: Yesterday at 12:33:40 PM »
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/joseph-epstein/joseph-epstein-misogyny-charges-jill-biden/

Here is an example of kind of exclusion that happens when people offend progressives. We’ve talked about using honorifics and titles elsewhere. This is about the aftermath of Epstein expressing a perfectly mainstream opinion on that topic.

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Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: January 16, 2021, 11:56:59 AM »
The point is that the places without lockdowns haven’t actually done any worse on the disease front than the places with lockdowns. And they’ve certainly done better on the related ailments front, like depression.

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Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: January 15, 2021, 02:43:43 PM »
Got my first dose of Moderna yesterday. I think I feel normal: Went mountain biking with the boys and my wife, then fell asleep on the couch watching episodes of Get Smart with them. Is that normal?

Only negative is that the microchip transmitter inside the vaccine doesn’t seem to be functioning... anyone know if maybe it’s not activated till the second shot?
Since I'm moonlighting as an agent of the state to earn extra money, I can assure you your microchip transmitter is working just fine. I'll let you know if we need you to clarify any of your thoughts.

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Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 14, 2021, 10:50:37 PM »
Pastor Charlton, you remember that the ELCA and the Lutheran World Federation has dealt directly and responsibly and with a great sense of repentance and sorrow with Luther’s writing concerning the Jews.

Right.  So its about time that Capital get rid of its mascot.  Capital is behind the times.
The name Capital comes from the word for head, which is inherently hierarchical. Only a truly hate-filled ignoramus would fail to be outraged by Capital anything.  I'm ashamed to be in the same online forum as you, DCarlton, you retrograde reactionary. You'll never be progressive enough for polite society.

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Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 14, 2021, 09:42:34 AM »
To avoid partisanship or cultural vagaries, and given the nature of Valpo's stands on many things:
Valpo Enigmas
Valpo Ambiguities

I like the KulturKampf mascot suggestions, not with animals, but with hypostatic ideas:
Enigma = mascot/costume is a question mark (?)
Ambiguities = mascot/costume is two question marks (??) or two arrows pointed in opposite directions

Then Valpo could play Hillsdale, team
The Truth (or The Verity, same thing) = a belt (ephesians 6) or
The Absolutes = I haven't figured costume out yet or
The Absolute Truth = a belt with studs
The Answer = Exclamation points

We have a local team very near my home, St. John's University.  They switched from the RedMen (which if you think about it was doubly bad) to The Red Storm. 
My belief is they didn't want to change the school colors, so they came up with something that isn't an actual thing  =  The Red Storm. 
Haven't seen one, sounds fungal though.

Semi-finally, I have spent a calendar day with my siblings determining the mascot/name of our Lutheran Grade School, Christ Memorial in Milwaukee.  We wore black and gold, and my sister and sister-in-law could recite the cheers which ended "Hail to the Black and Gold."  But after serious outreach to old people who could still even remember the school at all, we were The Tigers.  Black and gold stripes.  Nice.  We won a lot.  We won in fact almost all the time. 
But we didn't remember that we were the Tigers.  We were Christ Memorial - CM.  Black and Gold Champions.

I think the same kind of thing is the case at Valpo.  That's what my family members, many of whom are graduates, go back to - Valpo.  Not as much the Crusaders; Valpo.  If the Cresset goes out of publication, that to me is a more serious topic and loss.  That's philosophical/theological/academic anchor.  Why stop that?  But the Crusader could be a Knight.  My favorite is SW's - The Valpo Alpos.

Finally, I grew up in Milwaukee in the 50s.  And we could go to the home team's baseball games for 35 cents.  So we went to every doubleheader - 17 1/2 cents per game.  There were a lot of those then.  And we went for batting practice and stayed til the final out.  So that's where we - the northside mates - learned the national anthem.  "The land of the free," we belted it out with our little hands over our hearts, "and the hoomme of the ...........Braves."  Play ball.

Dave Benke
A theologically significant nickname would be the Valpo Mysteries (or just the Valpo Mystery). The mascot could come out on the field floor wrapped in a riddle, (like the Batman villain), fling off that cape or disguise to reveal an enigma, which would be harder to pull off as a costume-- maybe the WWII enigma machine or something. Then fling that off and, like a magician, disappear in smoke. All the kids in the stands would be amazed. It would be a lot more entertaining than a lot of their football games. Plus, when the fans in the stand ask each other such things as "What the heck kind of a play call was that," or, "What was that guy thinking," there would be a a stock answer to redirect people's attention to the mascot, who would keep appearing and disappearing periodically throughout the game.

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Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 13, 2021, 03:27:48 PM »
Koalas are sedentary because they are drugged.  Eucalyptus leaves are narcotic.  How much better to be named after a mighty hunter?  Go Nimrods!

But Nimrod was a male. Not inclusive enough.
How do you know? Ancient Hebrew lacks the array of pronouns to account for all the possibilities.

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Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 13, 2021, 01:57:14 PM »
Valpo Sloths?
“Stand up! Or not! Say you name! In thought! (silence)”

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Your Turn / Re: Valpo mascot task force
« on: January 13, 2021, 01:23:31 PM »
But koalas are not a good choice; they duplicitously try to pass themselves off as bears.
Plus black and white implies binary rather than spectrum, thus lacking nuance.

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