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12-31-10 Somehow I was thinking the other day about Lucas' light sabers. I am probably not the only young American male who has spent considerable time trying to figure out exactly how a light saber might practically work. How do you get a very intense laser beam to go out three feet and stop? And if it were possible to extend it at will, it would very tempting, while fencing to the death, to design a light saber that could extend another foot or two. This never happens though. Maybe there is an unwritten rule of light sabers that they may be 105cm long and no longer. You would think that at least the bad guys would circumvent this. It seems that for whatever reason they can be only so long. Even Darth Maul's double was not longer in the "blade" area. Also, how do you get a laser beam to be able to parry another laser beam whilst fencing? My theory is that there must be an extendable solid core to them, and a mirror at the far end to reflect the light beam back to the handle. The problem with this theory is that you could not stab with a light saber, with a mirror at on end, which it seems they can do. Another idea is that they have something like a shape memory polymer that can expand and become solid. It could not be a soft thermoplastic what we have, it would need to be stronger and more resistant to high temperatures.  Another possibility is some telescoping metal core. Then this core could have some energy source on its surface which gets very hot.  Maybe some kind of plasma arc. (Which would explain the noise.) But then this would get too hot to use for more than a few seconds. It is not impossible that there could be some cooling system at the handle. The laser works better from this point of view. It takes pretty high temperatures to slice off a limb like hot butter. I think maybe 5000-6000F. They do not seem to have a "cutting edge"; they seem to work equally well in any direction.  Maybe the mirror gets hot enough to use to stab with. Maybe it uses a laser along the length and some other heat source, like maybe the arc on the end. Actually the only stabbing use I can remember in the series was by Darth Maul, and it seemed like almost a fluke. All other use of the sabers that I can remember was as a slashing weapon. I wonder if George Lucas ever even thinks about any of this.
OK on a completely different topic, I went to church this evening. I guess that the Lutherans like to have a chance to use those handful of New Years Eve specific hymns that they have.  Anyway it was very nice, my mom went with me.  They sung a hymn, which I did not know, that had a verse that made me think of Mimi.  It was "Across the Sky the Shades of Night" text written by James Hamilton in 1883 based on Psalm 121:1, tune by Nikolaus Decius in 1539, and also used with the hymn "All Glory Be to God on High", which is I think more known, but I did not recognize it. This is the Third verse:
And while we pray, we lift our eyes
To dear ones gone before us,
Safe home with Thee in Paradise,
Whose peace descendeth o'er us;
And beg of Thee, when life is past,
To reunite us all at last
With those who've gone before us.

God bless y'all and happy New Year.

12-29-10 As most of you all probably know, my paternal grandmother went on to be with the Lord last week. She had been sick for a while and she was ready to go. She was exactly one month short of 101 years old. She was “Mimi” to everyone, even to those who were not related to her, like my friends. Even the nurses at rehab called her Mimi. Gary Wilcox, my cousin, who is now the children's pastor at her church, spoke at the funeral. He said that she had been around for a long time, and really for most of us she had been around forever, because she was there all our lives. She had been very close to many of us grandkids, in Gary's case for 57 years. It seems to me that Mimi was the same all my life. She was 60 when I was born. She was a older grandmother all my life, and she did not seem so different at 100. She had been really miraculously healthy until the last 9 months or so. I do not find myself sad about the situation, Mimi is in heaven, my mom says she died very much at peace, and I feel like I got to see her a lot this last year, though not maybe under ideal circumstances. God bless Mimi.
  As far as other stuff going on, I spent a nice Christmas here with my folks in TX. I am organizing a couple of little cyclocross races here in Amarillo. You can get a good idea of how busy ones life is by how little they write in their blog. :) I have listened to some interesting recorded books from Lilith and Fantasties by George MacDonald; Heresies and Otrhodoxy
by GK Chesterton; The Völsungasaga (anonymous),All of Grace by Charles H. Spurgeon, any of which I would recommend.  
  The exellent picture above was taken by Alex, who is getting pretty good at photography. You can click on it for a bigger version.  The reflection on the railroad track is cool.  

12-5-10 I have been in Texas for a little over a week.  My folks house has had a bit of a possum infestation.  I trapped one and caught another in the garage with a noose.  To me possums look like big overgrown rats.  My mom caught a smaller one in a box a couple of days later.  I might eat a possum if it lived in the country, but I am not much inclined to eat a city possum that has been eating trash and Lord only know what else in town.  I had lunch a couple of times with my paternal grandmother, who is almost 101 years old.  She is in a nursing home, which we never thought would happen.  Neither she or we are happy about it, but she is very weak and we do not see another option.  My mom is looking into seeing if we could get a part time home nurse.  If she were as well as half the people there in the nursing home, she would not be there at all, but would still be at home. 
  I did cyclocross states on Saturday back here in NM, and got 6th, not setting the world on fire but ok considering everything.  It has been a busy few weeks and I have not been very focused on training, I have had a cold, I have had a hurt ankle and some tendonitis in my elbow.  Ahh well. 
  There was a line in the liturgy in church today that said: "Fill us with hope that we may share it with the world."  As someone who has spent a lot of days feeling hopeless (but not today thankfully) that is a good prayer.  The Lutherans, I was thinking, spend more time on Bible readings and less on sermons VS the Evangelicals.  We had communion at church today, which is nice.  They do it every other week at a lot of Lutheran churches, so someone that makes it to church sporadically like me misses it a lot.
  I went to lunch with three of the guys from the church, which was also kind of nice.  One of them had been in Korea in the late 60's and we talked quite a bit about the situations there in the last few months.  We both agree that it would be a terrible thing if a full scale war would break out.  Communist governments are generally liberalizing these days and I think if we can give North Korea a few years it will likely collapse on its own as most communist governments in the world have done.      

11-10-10 A couple of things showing that fall is fully here.  I pulled out a box labeled "Seasonal Clothes" and took out my corduroys, my sweaters, my lined pants, and put in my shorts, my sleeveless t-shirts, and the like.  Then (it seems like overnight) the yellow cottonwoods coming over the bridge on Paseo del Norte have turned brown.  I am not a fan of winter in general, but shall try to make the best of it. 
11-3-10 Cool pic of me in the zone at MLK Park in Lubbock.  

11-2-10 When someone else feeds me, even if it is not my favorite, and even if it is not bread like I buy or naturally raised meat, or whatever, I accept it with gratitude, and eat it up. I am not a very picky eater if someone else cooks for me. I feel a little like that with this election. The party who's values values come generally closer to my own is making considerable gains, exactly how considerable will be in the news tomorrow. I feel though, that I am not super happy about why this has happened. It seems to be an economically driven election, and I am a family values driven voter. Now a lot of the new people coming in, who support fiscal conservatism, are also very family values orientated. That is good, and not at all uncommon in American politics.     
  It seems like there is this fickle middle group of American voters, who have become convinced that President Obama is THE cause of this present recession, some who likely voted for him, or did not vote at all in 2008. Now I think that Obama could perhaps be held to be responsible for some of the recession. I see (and maybe I am wrong) the causes of the recession to look like this: 35% Obama's socialist policies, 35% two expensive wars started by (our guy) Dubya(1), and 30% a variety of random factors, which are more or less out of the control of politicians.(2) A lot of these people appear to be voting as if Obama is 96% responsible for the recession. I question the durability of elections won by voting for a phantom, something that is not real, or at least not entirely real. Obama's "hope" and "bringing people together" were kind of a phantoms as well, and look how they have withered. Not that I do not agree with the Tea Party on al lot of things, I just do not know if the fiscal conservatism movement can last if the economy stays weak for several more years, even with more Republicans in congress. And it might, in my opinion, as it is not all because of Obama. To be blunt, if the hype fades, my political agenda suffers. We have just watched this happen to my family values opponents. As far as priorities go, I am for family values first and fiscal conservatism/capitalism second, if it is done responsibly. If the American socialists somehow decide to become pro-life and the capitalists become pro-choice, I am voting for the socialists.  
  I do not see myself as a particularly noisy family values voter, but I seldom miss an election. I am sure I am not the only one out there, who quietly votes a pro family ticket every time an election comes up, event though the Tea Party folks are getting a lot of press. 

1. I always had this feeling that Dubya was sincerely sympathetic to the family values causes. I did not feel so much this way about McCain. Maybe it is just me, but when Bush was running against Kerry in 2004, the family values issues seemed to be more on peoples minds. This is maybe silly gut feeling stuff, things I am criticizing voters for in the above paragraphs. 
2. I am not an economist, but some of these might be: simply a corrective slowdown from the last boom, weak foreign economies, the trade deficit with China, high petroleum prices, various natural disasters, increased government burdens of supporting immigrants, bad banking, business, and mortgage policies (some of which had origins decades ago).      
10-21-10 My, it has been a while since I wrote here. I am going to try to get on a schedule or something. Maybe every two weeks or so. I am doing my Tuesday Night Cross Series, and strangely we have had exactly 14 riders for the first three races. I would like to do better than that. I have been listening to Fantasties by George Macdonald, who has such a nice pretty old fashioned way of writing. I do not think I could write like that if I tried, and if I did it would probably seem silly, like I was trying to be old fashioned.  You may have noticed the lack of photos here, that is becasue my dear old Canon S2 finally quit working. It had been glitchy for a while. I am looking for a new one.  
I got through the last few chapters of the Confessions. I had read them some time ago, and remembered that they were very complicated and sent the brain thinking around in circles. I think it is almost a right of passage for the educated Christian to at some point in his life trudge through the last few chapters of the Confessions. In any case I think I can say that Augustine comes down on the "God is outside of time" side of the argument. It is strange that it is not difficult at all for me to me to think I disagree with C.S. Lewis about some issue, but I noticed that there was this hesitation to let myself think I disagreed with Augustine. Maybe it is because he is often referred to by the Catholics as Saint Augustine, and of course Lewis is never referred to as Saint Clive. I can't think that Augustine was all that much smarter than Lewis, if at all, though he was definitely quite the intellectual. I still like my "God is inside of time" idea, I will keep mulling it over.   

8-24-10 I have been thinking some about the prevailing theory among Christians that God is "outside of time" or "not subject to time."  The idea is that past, present and future are all accessible to God at all times.  He is not limited by the present as we are.  I have heard this in several sermons and discussions among Christians.  These sorts of theories are kind of strange, in that they are more, in my opinion, traditional than scriptural.  The Catholics (and to be honest we Lutherans too) have a lot of things like this, but this is theory is big among the evangelicals as well.  C.S. Lewis talks about this concept in the Screwtape Letters.  (Augustine also mentions it in his Confessions, particularly in chapter 11.  I am reading that now and I do not know if a have a real grip on his idea of time yet.)  This means it is by no means a new idea.  Usually things that have been around this long are indeed true, and this likely is, but I think we should make a distinction between theories and dogma. This particular theory kind of caught my attention, in that it is a theory that Christians tend to treat like dogma.  There are quite a few of these out there, really if you look for them.  Anyways, I am not saying that I am convinced that this theory of "God being outside time" is wrong, I would just like to look at another point of view, which is also a theory.
  This would be that God interacts with time exactly as we do, time passes for God just as it passes for us, His reality is only in the present.  God, in my opinion, has the ability to control the universe right down to the atomic level, if He so desires.  Prescience for God is not necessary for prophecy.  He says to Noah that it will rain for forty days, and when the time comes, He simply makes it rain for forty days.  This can go for all the prophetic writings in the Bible, they may not be  saying necessarily that God knows the future, only that God will make such and such a thing happen at its appointed time. 
  One might ask, what is the difference between this and God knowing the future?  The real problem with the accepted theory is that if God knows the future, how do we really have free will?  This is really hard for me to get my brain around.  Even harder for me than God knowing the future, is the idea of him designing it beforehand, and still we somehow have a free will.  However, if God is in time like we are, our free will is more concrete.  Unless He chooses to intervene miraculously, God has no idea what we will do or think or say in the next moment.  Perhaps "no idea" is going too far.  Even we mortals often know what another mortal human, or for that matter even our dog, will do in the next moment, but this is just knowing their nature, not by knowing the future.  I would imagine that God is infinitely better at this than we are, but that is still not the same as knowing the future.  We can suppose that God does not forget anything either, so details of the past, though unchangeable, are no more difficult for God to access than the present.  Many stories in the Bible, and examples in the present world, show God desiring things to go a certain way, in regard to moral decisions that individuals make, but actually having things go differently.  The fall of Adam and the fall of the Devil are examples that come quickly to my mind.  It would be possible, if this is true, for God to be surprised on some level, either positively or negatively, at these decisions.  I think that God can certainly override free will if he wants, and sometimes he does, but as a general rule he does not do this.
  Aside from the free wills of men, angels, and whatever other beings with free wills might be out there, the physical universe would be easier to predict.  Maybe for God, it is completely predictable, just by knowing the physics of it all, at least where it is not acted upon by a creature with free will.  God made it in the first place and set up how all the physics work.  If He can do that, it seems reasonable that he can know what is happening, which stars will collide tomorrow, which volcanos will erupt, and things of that sort, what we refer to as "acts of God." 
  When you think about it, the conversations in the Screwtape letters need time to make sense, a letter is written, and THEN answered.  Even the conversations in Heaven, written in Revelation and Job, require time to make sense: "Who is worthy to open the scroll?" and THEN, "The Lamb is worthy."  It is really hard to make sense of anything (for us mortals) without thinking in terms of time.  There is a certain sense in prophecy of time, a story, a series of successive events, cause and effect.                           
  I do not think that scripture implicitly requires the "God is out of time and knows the future" viewpoint.  "that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (2Pet 3:8)  I have heard this used to justify the theory, but to me this could mean simply that God has a very long lifespan, perhaps eternal, which has extended back a very long time, perhaps forever.  Because of this, he views time very differently than we do, which makes sense, but it does not go beyond that.  "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8)  Jesus (who is God for most Christians) does not change in nature, morals, or opinion as we do.   
  This is not so important really, just a theory, but I like the idea as it clearifies free will a little without taking God's omnipotence from him.  Maybe there is something in the Bible that totally proves this wrong.  If you know of it email me.  

8-16-10  I went tue dhe Monthly Helpers Mass with dhe Project Defending Life Catholic Pro-lifers. Dhat iz ahlwaze prettee interesting. Won kind uv forgets dhat uborshuns ahr goeing on evree day. Dhae ahr a good grupe I think. I tokt sum with dhem ubout transubstanseeaeshun, and I reeulizde I mor or less ugree with dhe Catholics on dhis. On a similar pro-life note dhere iz a confrence that won uv dhem was taling about kald 2010 New Mexico Biblical World View Conference, which I am hoeping to attend. It is a joint Protestant/Catholic thing. Chuck Colson iz skeduld to speke. I hav red a kupul uv his books, and rillee liked dhem. It wuz suprizinglee hard to find info on it.    

7-20 -10 Jean-Philippe Rameau, Nouvelles suites de pičces de clavecin, Suite en Sol: VI. Les Sauvages, played by Céline Frisch.  Rameau semse to make dhe harpsikord seme like it iz beeing strummd insted of kede, az if it wer a harp. He rellee had the harpisikord down. I think I like the harpisikird beter soeloe than akompanede.   

7-19 -10 Here iz my nue flash .mp3 player. It still haz a fue bugs, but I am prettee happee with it. It duz not look like much but it iz dhe result uf six munths uv studeeing Actionscript kode. The muesik kuntrol is much impruvde frum dhe erlier protoetipe.  I wood like tue eventualee poot the songz on teh rite into the nue player format, but I nede tue figure out a fue mor things. When I waz a kid and the cold war waz stil goeing on, I ges I had al dheze
imajez in my minde about Russia, but Orthodox Choral music waz not one ov dhem. I found dhis CD at a guradj sale maebee15 yerse ago. I have bekum kind of fond uv the Orthodox muesik, it iz a littul different frum dhe western church muesik. 
7-15-10 I am bak in NM frum a week and a haf in Texas racing and visiting dhe familee.  I drove around Austin, San Antonio and Houston, which wuz rillee interesting.  I hav bin working on studeeing Actionscript 3.0 for Flash and almost hav a nue .mp3 plaeyer dun.  I wil stik it up here when I get dhe bugs out uv it. Dhis first pik iz uv bare trax in dhe Sandias.  Uperentlee dhey step in dhe same place going up or doun a trale and make theze littul depressions in dhe forest flor.  
5-28-10 I am now famus.  I hav my piktur on a genueine spoke kard.  

I hav bin lisening tue Ballads of a Bohemian by Robert W. Service.  I got it ahf which iz won uf the koolest sitse on dhe internet. Endles free ahdeeoebooks, ahl publik doemane, red by volunteers. Onlee old books, dho, wons dhat ahr past thare copeeritse. Here iz a poewem frum dhe book:

      The Wonderer, Aug 1, 1914

      I wish that I could understand
      The moving marvel of my Hand;
      I watch my fingers turn and twist,
      The supple bending of my wrist,
      The dainty touch of finger-tip,
      The steel intensity of grip;
      A tool of exquisite design,
      With pride I think:  "It's mine!  It's mine!"

      Then there's the wonder of my Eyes,
      Where hills and houses, seas and skies,
      In waves of light converge and pass,
      And print themselves as on a glass.
      Line, form and color live in me;
      I am the Beauty that I see;
      Ah! I could write a book of size
      About the wonder of my Eyes.

      What of the wonder of my Heart,
      That plays so faithfully its part?
      I hear it running sound and sweet;
      It does not seem to miss a beat;
      Between the cradle and the grave
      It never falters, stanch and brave.
      Alas! I wish I had the art
      To tell the wonder of my Heart.

      Then oh! but how can I explain
      The wondrous wonder of my Brain?
      That marvelous machine that brings
      All consciousness of wonderings;
      That lets me from myself leap out
      And watch my body walk about;
      It's hopeless--all my words are vain
      To tell the wonder of my Brain.

      But do not think, O patient friend,
      Who reads these stanzas to the end,
      That I myself would glorify. . . .
      You're just as wonderful as I,
      And all Creation in our view
      Is quite as marvelous as you.
      Come, let us on the sea-shore stand
      And wonder at a grain of sand;
      And then into the meadow pass
      And marvel at a blade of grass;
      Or cast our vision high and far
      And thrill with wonder at a star;
      A host of stars--night's holy tent
      Huge-glittering with wonderment.

      If wonder is in great and small,
      Then what of Him who made it all?
      In eyes and brain and heart and limb
      Let's see the wondrous work of Him.
      In house and hill and sward and sea,
      In bird and beast and flower and tree,
      In everything from sun to sod,
      The wonder and the awe of God

5-14-10 It haz bin a cold wet spring in my nek uv dhe woods.  Here ahr sum faerlee resent pix.  Dhe storm coming in dhe last foto dumpt over an inch uv popcorn snoe on mee in che last 20 min uv my hike.

4-28-10 I vakyumde up under dhe caroeselz last weke.  This is part uv wut I found.  Dher wuz ahlsoe ubout a cuebik foot uv lint, and maebee $5 in chanje. I like dhe "God Rocks" ball. Onlee in America. :-)

4-13-10 God is in control.  I was listening to Michael Savage for a minute last night.  He was talking about the fact that the Muslims in Europe have a lot more kids than the native Europeans(four times, he says, but I am not sure about that), and in the US quite a few more than the European Americans, and what this means for the future outlook of the Western World in the next 50-100 years. (He failed to mention that the exception to this statistic is the conservative Christian families, which tend to have more kids.) Anyway I do not listen to him much, as he is often kind of bitter, angry, and depressing. This is not happy information. My dad gave me a book on the same topic, which goes into much more detail. (America Alone, Mark Steyn) What I have written lately about the moral decay of Western Christianity is not very happy news either. 
It struck me though, listening to this, that it is not the whole picture.  We should do what we can to resist evil in the world, for sure, but the really important thing is that even if the world becomes more evil by the day, God is in control. The true God, who has not changed since the beginning, who since that beginning has loved the same good and hated the same evil, this God is in Control.  He loves us and sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins.  He will bring us home to heaven.
If I wake up tomorrow and I am the last orthodox* Christian in the world, God is still in control.  Not just sort of in control, he will still count every hair and watch every sparrow fall.  What happens in the world is important, but it is of secondary importance.  It is better to know this and die a martyr tomorrow, than to not know this and have the world tuning out just like you like it.

*That is to say, orthodox in a general sense with a little "o", not Orthodox in the sense of the denomination.   

4-12-10 Great shot of Fernando Alonso before practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix last week.  
photo Sutton Images,

4-7-10 I was thinking about a couple of things related to what I wrote on 3-10 about the future of the Catholic church.  If you have not read it you might want to read it first.  
  First: I read a couple of documents on the Vatican's website,(1,2) and I am encouraged that the official policy of the Catholic Church as it stands now clearly teaches that homosexuality is a sin, even though there are people of the opposite opinion sitting in Catholic pews now.  (As I am sure that there are people of this position sitting in Missourri Synod Lutheran (my denomination(3)) pews right now as well.) This excerpt summarizes their position:
  "It is only in the marital relationship that the use of the sexual faculty can be morally good. A person engaging in homosexual behaviour therefore acts immorally."(1)
  So I think that they are "holding the line" on this issue at least as far as the official policy goes. What concerns me is what are the sympathies and long term goals of the upper clergy in the western world. Do they really agree with this?  Are some of them wising it would liberalize? I was at a meeting of a Catholic women's group a year or so ago and I remember a lady talking about how disappointed she was that the Vatican had elected such a conservative Pope (speaking of the current Pope Benedict.) I was somewhat shocked by this. I do live in a generally liberal leaning university area, but still among the Catholics, especially those at a meeting that expressed a time investment beyond going to mass, this surprised me. Now, I am not saying that she should not be free to say this, but I remember thinking later: Why, exactly, are you Catholic? Maybe you should be an Episcopalian.    
  Second: I think in a society such as ours, all people should be treated equally under the law. A balance needs to be found in which those who think homosexuality is normal behavior, and those who think it is a grievous sin are both treated with respect. I do not have any close friends that are openly homosexual. Of the acquaintances I have, I have generally found them to be courteous, rational, nice, and intelligent, though I always feel a certain awkwardness around them, knowing the extreme gulf between our differing world views. I oppose prosecutors turning a blind eye to assaults on homosexuals because they are homosexual. I also oppose hate crime legislation that says that someone should be punished more because the assault was made against a historically oppressed group, such as homosexuals. We should be equal under the law. Also the Episcopalian (4) pastors should be free to say from their pulpits that homosexuality is normal and healthy behavior, and my pastor should from his pulpit shuold be free to say that it is a sin and condemned by God.
  I am speaking as to what I think should be permitted under US law, where we have citizens who hold opposing viewpoints, and I think they should both be respected. From viewpoint of God's law, the liberal Episcopipalian pastor is doubly evil. It is bad enough to encourage sin, but to do so and at the same time to present onself as a pastor, God's representative to care for his children, and then to lead them away from His will, is a very serious thing indeed. I am not saying that most of them do this deliberately, but it is still tragic that such a situation can exist. Some of the harshest condemnations of human behavior in the New Teatament are given for this, not so much for the people living in sin, but for religious leaders that say it is ok. (5)          
1. On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (Vatican) This article contains an excellent summary of the situation that exists today.
2. Criteria for the Discernment of (Priestly) Vocations
with regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies
3. Homosexuality (The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
4. Not all the Episopalians, thankfully, but sadly most of them in America. Also several other demoninations, such as the ELCA.  
5. II Peter 2 is a good example of this.  

4-4 Christ is Risen!
  Note: I hav started pooting a subjekt in bold on the longer artikuls to make the blog eezeeyer to skim over.  

3-19  Sin at the door. Something brought this verse to mind, I guess the endless struggles in my own mind:
6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
  Some of the translations say "crouches", like an animal about to pounce. The hebrew dictionary on seems to support this.  
  If one believes the Bible, which I do, out behavior and even thoughts are personally important to God. Furthermore He cares about out needs and feelings. He is simultaneously aware of the thoughts and actions of everyone in the world. This separates religious thought from deism.
  The fact that sin is always at the door, always waiting for us, it something to really keep in mind. We do not get a day off. It is interesting that Jesus uses a similar analogy when he says: "Behold I stand at the door and knock." It is as if we are presented with the choice between Jesus and sin at our door every day.      

3-10-10I was reading an article on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church on the BBC’s site this morning. Once again people were talking about letting priests marry. Pope Benedict is strongly opposed to this, says the article, and that is likely true. Generally I like his conservative stances.
  The reason for allowing priests to marry, as I see it, is not to remove temptation, which is what we usually hear talked about, but rather to raise a new and completely different group of priests, one that is rigidly and exclusively heterosexual. It seems that generally when they have some scandal about sexual abuse it is about someone abusing boys, not girls. This is not about temptation, this about who they are getting as priests. Although homosexuality is considered a sin by the Church, (a good thing, I think) they have set up a clergy system that attracts homosexual men. It seems to me that they are shooting themselves in the foot on this one. Sadly, I do not see this changing soon, because those who like things the way they stand are in some of the supervisory positions now. Are they likely to take a really devoted stance towards changing things, if they themselves are homosexual or sympathetic to that moral decision? There are tons of good priests, but it does not take a lot of bad ones to really cause a problem in the system. I think they need new people at all levels, people who believe what the Church teaches, that homosexuality is a sin, period. The present system does not seem conducive towards collecting that group of people.
  I have a great deal of respect for the Catholics in a lot of areas, and for the present pope, but this is something they need to consider.
  On a sort of related topic, whenever I hear something like this, I remember reading The Vision by David Wilkerson of The Cross and the Switchblade fame. He said that he foresees a global liberal church which would combine the Catholic Church with most protestant/evangelical denominations. I am thankful that this has not happened, and I really hope it never will. (I do not think it will happen under Pope Benedict, anyway.) If it had not been the David Wilkerson, with all he has done, a hero among evangelicals, probably no one would have ever even read that book. It is hard to know.What does the Bible say about prophets? Basically if what they say doesn’t happen, ignore them. Or if they try to turn you away from your faith, ignore them (or under the Law of Moses, they were to be executed.) If what they predict does happen AND they try to turn you from your faith, they are not to be followed. This is the tricky scenario. (Deuteronomy 18 (latter part) and 13) So I think this is what one should do with Wilkerson’s book: Keep it in the back of ones mind, and keep ones eyes open. It has been a long time since I read it, but it Wilkerson himself says something similar about the book in the introduction. 
  Returning to the Catholics, I was thinking that this is really a critical time. If they cannot deal with this problem now, eventually they may get a Pope who just says that homosexuality was not a sin after all. There are plenty of Catholics in the developed world who would like to see this happen, and I would suppose that the Church pulls a most of its clergy leadership, and most of its money, from the developed world. It is possible that the Catholics could fight this by staunchly drawing the line and saying that if you are homosexual the Catholic clergy does not have a place for you, and avoid letting the priests marry, but I think a more secure decision would be to do both. There are a lot of Catholics that wish to maintain the current moral conscience of the church, but they are largely family types. These are some of the best people they have, many of them really stand behind the moral teachings of the Church. They need these people in the leadership positions. I would hate to see the Catholics end up like the Episcopalians or the ELCA Lutherans, but it could happen.
  This is not merely an issue of abuse. That is just the result of a much bigger problem. The deeper question is one of who is running the Church now and more importantly who will be running the Church in the future. I think that they need to take a twofold approach: First, capitalize on the family oriented Catholics and bring them into the clergy by allowing priests to marry. Second, If the Church is committed in its teaching that homosexuality is a real sin, do not tolerate it. In my opinion this needs to be done now, while they have a conservative Pope and he can appoint who he wants to leadership positions. The next Pope could be a "John Kerry" style Catholic, and God help the Catholics if that day comes. I realize that the celibacy of the priesthood has positive aspects and a long history in the Church, but this is a desperate time for the Catholics, and they need to weigh this issue against the very real possibility of losing the moral values of the Church. Though this would help the abuse issue, the secularists of the BBC and the west in generally will hate you even more than they do already if these steps were taken, but I think it is the best course of action for them. I think what has happened to many of the Protestant denominations is tragic and do not wish this to happen to the Catholics. I would encourage my Catholic brothers to do as they did in Battle or Tours in 732, to make sacrifices, to stand, to fight, to overcome.

3-1-10 The site haz bin down for  a weke. I wuz chaenjing doemane registraeshun. I do not think Godaddy likse peepul to transfer  uway frum dhem. I hav gone uway frum Godaddy to bekuz Godaddy hostse porn sitse. I shood hav sum new pix and tunz up soon.  

Lotus F1
2-11-10 Dhis iz dhe oenlee pik I cood find uv dhe nue Lotus F1 cahr. (with dhe huje Autosport ad) I just found out dhat dhey wer feelding a F1 cahr dhis yere.  OK I noe dhey ahr now oend lahrjlee by dhe Malaysians, but stil I think it iz prittee cule, and cule cdhat dhe Malysians hav a rele F1 teme.  

I thot dhis wuz a cute way uv not getting down ubout yore wrekt cahr.  Ahlsoe here ahr a fue mor nue pix.  Sum ov dhem ahr frum last summer; I just got dhem ahf Steven's camruh a fue daze uhgo.       

1-10-10.  I did the little CX race in  Cruces today. I got second to Ryan Blickem, who lives down there. I also set up a little CX race in Amarillo on 1-3, where I also got second to my brother Alex. I am planning on setting up another CX race there on 1-23.  Misc pix below: Very strange body english in the sand at Polk MS, Two winter pix from Amarillo. Christmas pies by mom, note apple shaped topping on the left pie. Interesting neogothic LDS church in Show Low, AZ. A cool photo of Saturn from NASA's site, with the rings seen edge on, and their shadow visible in the northern hemisphere. 


blog (not much there, new baby and all)
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