Monday, March 3, 2014

All Around the Web - March 3, 2014



North and South Korea at night from space.

HT: Business Insider



Russell Moore - On Weddings and Conscience: Are Christians Hypocrites?
Here’s why this matters. The photographer has, in most cases, no ability or authority to find out the sorts of things a pastor or church elders would about a marrying couple. Most evangelical Christians, this one included, believe there are circumstances in which it is biblically moral for a divorced person to remarry. And all Christians—regardless of what we think about a church’s responsibility—think that marriages between otherwise qualified unbelieving men and women are good things, grounded in a creation ordinance.

It’s possible, of course, that the man and woman who’ve contracted with a wedding singer are just marrying to get a green card. It’s possible that they don’t plan to be faithful to one another. It’s possible that she’s already married to three other men. It’s possible that their love is just a reality show stunt. Or, to take us back to Corinth, it’s possible the blushing bride is the groom’s ex-stepmother. But unless the photographer has a reason to think this, he needn’t hire a private investigator or ask for birth certificates and court papers to make sure it’s not.

In the case of a same-sex marriage, the marriage is obviously wrong, in every case. There are no circumstances in which a man and a man or a woman and a woman can be morally involved in a sexual union (I have no reason to assume that Powers and Merritt disagree with apostolic Christianity on this point. If so, they should make that clear).

Now, the question at hand was one of pastoral counsel. How should a Christian think about his own decision about whether to use his creative gifts in a way that might, he believes, celebrate something he believes will result in eternal harm to others. I recognize there are some blurry lines at some of these points. But what isn’t blurry is the question of state coercion.

It’s of no harm to anyone else if Kirsten Powers and Jonathan Merritt (both of whom I love) think me to be a hypocrite. It’s fine for the Daily Beast to ridicule the sexual ethic of the historic Christian church, represented confessionally across the divide of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy. It’s quite another thing for the state to coerce persons through fines and penalties and licenses to use their creative gifts to support weddings they believe to be sinful.

That’s broader than just homosexuality. I don’t want wedding singers forced to use their lyrics and voices to tell us how great it is that Herod and Herodias or Henry VIII and fill-in-the-blank wife’s name are soul-mates.

Joe Carter - Is Sexual Orientation Analogous to Race?
In an article for Notre Dame Law Review, Richard F. Duncan provides a model for thinking through the issue. As Duncan says, in order to answer the question of whether sexual orientation should be protected by anti-discrimination laws we should first consider the purpose of such laws. "It is important to recognize, however, that civil rights laws codifying this principle are nothing more than exceptions to the general rule of free choice," says Duncan. Employers, landlords, business owners, and so on, have historically retained the moral and legal right to freedom of association, which allows them to choose whom they will or will not do business with. In the latter half of the 20th century, certain exemptions to this general principle became codified in the United States to protect categories such as race and gender.

It is important to remember that these anti-discrimination laws are exemptions to the general rule. Except for the protected classes, business owners, et al., are allowed to discriminate (i.e., refuse to do business) with people for a variety of reasons. For instance, a landlord is not required to rent to a pornographer or a Klansman. In general, sexual orientation (however it was made known to a business owner) has been one of thousands of factors that are unprotected by antidiscrimination laws.
People who claim that legislation to protect sexual orientation is merely seeking to provide the same protections that are afforded to other people are incorrect: they already have the same rights everyone else has, i.e., the right to be protected against discrimination on the basis of their race, gender, and other protected categories. It is necessary that we are clear that seeking to make sexual orientation a protected class are seeking a special exemption that is not afforded to millions of other criteria.
A case could possibly be made that sexual orientation deserves this special exemption if it can be shown to be analogous to the category of race. So let's examine that claim.

Thabiti Anyabwile - Spoken Word Monday: “Human Persons” by Micah Bournes and Propaganda




Trevin Wax - If Daniel 3 Were Written Today…
The United States of America crafted a gold statue called Aphrodite. They stamped it in their books, discussed it in their universities, and showed it on their screens.
The U.S. sent word to assemble the politicians, pastors, culture-makers, critics, businesspeople, judges, and law enforcers, and all the influencers of the different spheres of culture to attend the dedication of the statue that society had set up.
So the politicians, pastors, culture-makers, critics, businesspeople, judges, law enforcers, and all the influencers of the different spheres of culture assembled for the dedication of the statue.
The news media and courts loudly proclaimed:
“People of every state and region, race and religion, you are commanded: When you see anyone bowing down to Aphrodite – no matter where or when or how or whether or not you agree, you are to clap your hands and celebrate the gold statue that the United States of America has set up. But whoever does not clap their hands and celebrate will immediately be marginalized, cast aside, and silenced.”
Therefore, when all the people saw anyone bowing down to Aphrodite, people of every state and region, race and religion, clapped their hands and celebrated the gold statue that the U.S. had set up.

Movie Pilot - Toy Story: The True Identity of Andy's Mom Makes The Movie More Epic
Andy's mom has always been a bit of an enigma. In the first Toy Story, we barely even saw her face. That's all fine because throughout the movies, the real focus has been on Andy and the love he has for those toys.

But this is Pixar, and it stands to reason that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the Davis family (Andy's last name).

In order to understand who Ms. Davis really is, we have to start with something seemingly simple: a hat.

In the picture below, you see Andy's cowboy hat that he plays with throughout his childhood. Study it closely.

40 years of cell phones


40 Years of Cellphone from Amrit Pal Singh on Vimeo.
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