Saturday, March 21, 2009


This week's news reported a story from Boca Raton, Florida. A hospice chaplain resigned, complaining that she was forbidden from using the terms "God" or "Lord" in public settings at work--to say nothing of "Jesus."

Outrageous, you say? Well, the hospice company's response makes me wonder. They said there was no such ban. Their story goes this way. Someone had invited this chaplain to do a brief motivational talk during a staff meeting. The guidelines indicated that it was to be a secular talk for the staff, which would have include people of every and no religious persuasion.

So which is the problem here? The ban, or the chaplain's willingness to be co-opted as a secular motivational speaker? The ban, or the chaplain's easy use of the divine name for a secular feel-good be-a-success moment? What of the command against taking the LORD's name in vain (Exod 20:7), that is, in any empty way--such as in a prayer over a secular motivation speech? Maybe the chaplain should concern herself more with that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Facebook | Beside the Point

Here's a critique of Rush Limbaugh that I found pointed and worthwhile. I know that he's the favorite voice of a lot of people whose politics comes from the right, and that includes a lot of Christians. But the issue raised here ought to challenge Christians to build a politic that is consisitently Christian, and not to follow any other party line than that with uncritical loyalty.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

On Dawkins' facile and dishonest dissing of Christian theology

An interesting blog taking on Richard Dawkins for his facile and dishonest dissing of Christian theological positions.

The Life and Opinions of Andrew Rilstone: Being for the benefit of people who want to link to this kind of thing

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hermann MO

We just visited Hermann, Missouri, a town established in 1837 by Germans from Philadelphia to be a German Athens on the plains. Its earliest settlers blamed all their troubles on the company agent named George Bayer, who thereupon "died of a broken heart." The settlers buried him in a distant corner of the town's cemetery and decreed that no one should be buried within 75' of his grave.

Not to worry. After a lengthy inquiry, a court exonerated Bayer--in 1986. Seems that Philadelphia Germans has badly miscalculated how tough it would be to make a life in the Missouri wilderness, especially during the winter. It also seems that rehabilitating Bayer rather added to the "nice" feeling of the towns' centennial celebration.