Archive for February, 2009

Some Baptist Wisdom

Posted in Ethics & Morality, Religion on February 26th, 2009

In America Baptists – especially Southern Baptists with their evangelical traditions – have gotten a bad name among many religions and even other sects of Christianity. While much of this dislike is well-deserved, the Baptists have had amongst their number some great and wise theologians and philosophers. Below are some words of wisdom from one of them:

There is a certain view of God and nature and man and the world in the background of our faith. But Christianity is a historical religion, and a religion of experience. It is grounded in facts. The Christian worldview rests upon these facts.

From the fact that other religions, including Judaism, have in them the idea of sacrifice and propitiation, it is concluded by some that it must be a false idea. Fundamentally this assumes that everything in the non-Christian religions must be wholly false. Is it not far more likely that a universal religious idea has in it an element of truth than that its universality is a mark of its falsity? Christianity purified and fulfilled all religious ideas of human beings, emptied them of their transient and superficial meanings, and revealed their true inward meaning. The atonement of Christ in a very special manner does this. In it God appears in Christ, not as a distant, implacable and angry being, requiring a satisfaction for sin which humans cannot supply. Jesus himself, as holy and loving and yearning to save humanity, provides the satisfaction.

— E.Y. Mullins
4th President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Obviously as a Pagan I have a theological difference of opinion with Rev. Dr. E.Y. Mullins’ assertion that “Christianity purified and fulfilled all religious ideas of human beings, emptied them of their transient and superficial meanings, and revealed their true inward meaning,” but his wisdom in knowing and saying aloud that universally held religious and moral concepts are more likely to be true than false and that things outside of the Christian faith are not inherently wrong just for being outside the Christian faith is profound.

Related Reading:

Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels
Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine
The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation
Mere Christianity
Essential Philosophy: How to know what on earth is going on

Homeland Insecurity

Posted in Politics on February 26th, 2009

Homeland Security Secretary Janet NapolitanoHomeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was angered by the fact that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents this week conducted their first work-site raid since President Barack Obama took office.

She angry because arresting illegal immigrants violated her and President Obama’s policies regarding immigration.

Sean Smith, a spokesman at Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., said that Napolitano is demanding answers.  Napolitano herself said, “I want to get to the bottom of this” and is planning on conducting an investigation of the February 24th raid.

Strange, the last time I looked into it enforcing US immigration policies and arresting and deporting illegal immigrants was the sworn duty of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Of course I erroneously believed that it was the sworn duty of the Homeland Security Secretary to support them in those efforts.

So… the person in charge of US Homeland Security and therefor U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regards arresting 28 illegal immigrants at Yamato Engine Specialists factory in Bellingham, Wa. as a violation of the policies of the new federal government? This is not something that any American should feel the least bit comfortable about.

Sadly it seems that National Council of La Raza – the political arm of MEChA – has more to be happy about than just their recent $473,000 “not-an-earmark” in the Stimulus Act.  They’ve apparently got the sympathy of the Homeland Security Secretary as well.

Related Reading:

Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear
Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Deluxe Limited Edition
101 Facts That'll Convince Your Liberal Friends to Walk Away
The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Las Vegas Crime: A Gripping Serial Killer Thriller (Baxter and Holt Book 3)

Of Course It’s Our Fault

Posted in Society, The Environment on February 26th, 2009

Sometimes it’s quite amazing the level of mental contortions the global socialists will put themselves through in order to blame the Civilized World for every woe experienced on this planet. In this particular case it’s the lengths that the Anthropocentric Global Warming alarmists will go through in order to blame developed nations for the actions of the less developed and civilized nations’ voluntarily chosen courses of action.

From the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO) via Green Biz:

Rich countries’ invisible emissions

Almost half of the emission increase in China is due to production of exports, most of it to western countries, according to a new report.

Rich countries are contributing to the emission increases in developing nations, but this is not accounted for in international negotiations.

The report “Journey to world top emitter”, to be published in Geophysical Research Letters, states that Chinese CO2 emissions increased by 45 percent from 2002 to 2005. Half of the increase was due to export production, 60 percent of which was exported to western countries. Electronic commodities and metals are important products.

Only 7 percent of the emissions increase was triggered through househould consumption in China, the researchers from the University of Cambridge, CICERO, Carnegie Mellon University, and University of Leeds found.

Global system

– This makes us reflect on how we are a part of a global system, and how we partly drive emissions in other countries. It is important to take at least some responsibility for problems that we cause indirectly in other countries, says Glen Peters, researcher at CICERO – Center for Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

Electronic products, metals, chemicals, and machinery are export products contributing largely to the emissions increase.

– This doesn’t mean that trade is a bad thing. The problem is rather the type of products and how they are produced. It wouldn’t be so bad if China used its comparative advantage to produce products that meet global environmental objectives, he says.

Carbon leakage

International climate agreements do not account for how emissions cross national borders because of imports and exports. In the Kyoto Protocol, every country is responsible for emissions on its own territory.

The process where a country reduces emissions on its own territory but increases imports is known as «carbon leakage».

– We do not need to completely redesign Kyoto, but we could include incremental changes that address carbon leakage and competitiveness concerns. Climate policy could be designed in similar ways to existing tax policy. For example we could design carbon taxes in a similar way to value-added taxation which covers imported products. In that way the consumer would pay for the emissions caused by his or her consumption, Glen Peters says.

Following exports, capital formation – primarily construction – is the second largest driver of the emissions increase in China.

Putting aside the argument that Anthropogenic Global Warming is nothing but a sham for moment, this attempt to blame the “rich nations” for China’s emissions is still nothing but a very poorly disguised attempt at global socialism. It’s just another Leftist dream of robbing the wealthier and more developed nations in order to redistribute their earnings to poorer and less civilized countries.

Not one single person outside of the PRC, much less any civilized nation, demanded that China take the shortest, easiest, and messiest road to industrial and international commercial might. The Chinese decided all on their own how to progress into a more modern industrial / commercial model.

But of course it’s our fault; it always is in the minds of these people.

Related Reading:

The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower
International Economic Institutions: Globalism vs. Nationalism
Why Not Socialism?
The China Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health
AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order