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Archive for April, 2009

Why I don’t listen to talk radio

Posted by Chance on April 29, 2009

I would probably agree with a lot of things said on conservative talk radio or on the Fox News opinion programs (although I don’t have cable). However, I feel that if I listened to these shows, I would be cranky all the time. This isn’t a remark against everyone who listens to talk radio, but I know some people get fired up when they listen to it, and they seem negative and angry all the time. I would be one of those people. Basically, I would be reminded anytime I listen to the radio of all that is wrong with America. I am not saying everyone is like this, although I think people should watch out. I think anytime someone of any political stripe immerses themselves too much into political commentary it can be unhealthy. Not that I know where that line is.

Part of this frustration can come from putting too much hope in the political process and government. My church just did a couple sermons and question-answering panels on politics. One thing the pastor pointed out was not putting our hope in government. I think this can apply regardless of political ideology. If you are a liberal passionate about “social justice”, don’t just look giving through governmental means. If you are someone passionate about your pro-life stance, keep on voting pro-life, but realize that government is not the only battlefront of abortion. If it means that much to you, get involved and/or donate money to a Crisis Pregnancy center or some kind of Life Network. Help make abortion unnecessary.

Someone who puts their hope in government will always be let down. Also, putting hope in government means not putting hope in God. This is something I struggle with at times. My ability to provide for my family ultimately doesn’t depend on our economic system or tax rate, it depends ultimately on God. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care about or not get involved in politics, it’s just that politics is not the be all end all in this world.

So, I will try to stay informed, I just don’t want to be angry all the time. I’d rather listen to music or sports radio. After all, I can only get so upset over the Broncos.

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Posted in Christianity, Politics | 3 Comments »

Thought on the draft

Posted by Chance on April 27, 2009

It’s scary to think that Josh Freeman of Kansas State was drafted 17th overall as a quarterback, and he wasn’t even the fourth best quarterback in the Big 12. It will be interesting to see how next years draft turns out with McCoy of Texas, Bradford of OU (should he decide to leave school), and Robinson of Oklahoma State.

Posted in Sports | Leave a Comment »

I am understood

Posted by Chance on April 25, 2009

I had an English professor one time who said (paraphrased) “the greatest need is not to be loved, but to be understood.”  I don’t know if I agree with him; he said a lot of things that sounded “cool” in a philosophical sense but not necessarily true.  But I think being understood is important in one sense or another.  The last post and the comment section on the one before that touched on the importance of someone’s political viewpoints being understood.  I think a great struggle in male/female relationships is understanding, just because the two sexes can see things so differently.

Whether being understood is mankind’s greatest need or not, it is a need that God can fulfill.  God can appear to be so far from us, that he doesn’t understood our human experience.  But God understands exactly what we go through, through the incarnation of Jesus Christ.  Hebrews 2:18 says

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 4:15-16 says

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Whether our greatest need is to be loved or understood, God does both through Jesus Christ.

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The challenge facing conservatism

Posted by Chance on April 23, 2009

Dan made a good point in the last post about how the right present their case against big government, taxes, and the like.  The biggest challenge conservatives will have to face is making their case in the economic area. As Dan pointed out, and even I have before, conservatives can appear to be all about “wanting what’s mine.”  Now, that attitude sucks in life outside of governmental policy, but I don’t think it is completely unjustifiable when it comes to taxes and government spending.  Nevertheless, the attitude will not win converts.

I have been an economic conservative since I remember because the the whole romantic notion of America being the land of opportunity.  I believe that a free market appears to have more “risk” than, say, a tightly controlled economy, but I believe the results are better.  By having a free market, it makes it easier for the average Joe or Jane or Sanjay or whoever to get up and start a business.  Tied to that idea are those of smaller government and less taxes; a government that has less involvement in people’s lives.  People need to realize that economic freedom is worth something.  Economic freedom doesn’t bring about a world where only the rich get richer, but where the average person can flourish.

This is something that conservatives really need to sell from here on out.  They need to focus on the idea that a smaller government makes it easier for the average person to live their lives.  These are things Reagan focused on.  Yes, Reagan still spend a lot of money and didn’t balance the budget, some huge mistakes in his presidency.  But if a conservative can step up where he didn’t in those areas and preach the same message he did, that will help their successes.

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Patriot or Redneck?

Posted by Chance on April 22, 2009

If you dissent against the government, typically you are a patriot.  Unless you protest against tax and spending policies, then you are a racist redneck.  I don’t get that.

Disagreeing with the government is a good thing, as long as it is done so somewhat respectfully.  Liberals are known for distrusting authority, and I think that is a good thing for the most part, hence my libertarian bent.  However, some of these same people who have no problem crying out against government when it comes to the military, the police, domestic policies against terrorism – all worthy things to keep an eye on – see Tea Party attenders as nothing but backwood rednecks. I’m not speaking to all liberals, as far as I know its just CNN and some Hollywood types that are making a big deal.  But I am speaking to a general attitude.

But this is a theme that has gone on for some time.  People who protest wars and such are simply seen as radical and free-thinking.  People who protest taxes and/or spending are seen as uneducated country boys with confederate flags.  Not that there isn’t a grain of truth; rural areas tend to breed conservatives.

The point I am making is this:  for some reason, protesting the authoritarian roles of government (military, police, FBI) is seen as cool.  Protesting the welfare state and tax system is not.   I think it is important to question both sides of government.

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments »

Poll for the Day: Should drugs be legal?

Posted by Chance on April 20, 2009

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Random thought for the day: B-sides and deleted scenes

Posted by Chance on April 20, 2009

Many groups have B-side albums, which are collections of songs previously done that just didn’t make it on previous albums.  I think this is a great way of releasing the previously unreleased, but I wonder if sometimes it’s a cop-out.  It’s basically a way of saying “This album won’t be as good as our others, but it’s okay, they are B-sides.  “

I feel similarly toward deleted scenes that didn’t make it into the theatre but are on the DVDs.  Sometimes they are worth watching, but in general, I wonder, if these scenes weren’t good enough to make it into the movie, why do I care about watching them?

Posted in Culture | Leave a Comment »

Album review: Relient K

Posted by Chance on April 18, 2009

Relient K is one of the more popular bands in Christian rock, both today, and probably ever.  They make regular appearances on Christian radio and on the WOW albums (an annual compilation of the top Christian songs of the year).   They are sort of a pop punk band; think Blink-182 without the vulgarity (I always hate describing a Christian band as “the Christian version of this band), but it fits.

For me personally, my favorite Relient K work comes from their first album.  This is not to dismiss any of their later work, its just that their self-titled album appeals to me the most.  Musically, it is the most interesting; it has elements that remind me of more driven punk music.  Their guitar drives harder than later albums.

This album also has a great blend of seriousness and silliness.  The seriousness comes with songs such as “Softer to Me” that focuses on the difficulties of life but knowing they pale into comparison to the life Christ had.  The silliness comes with just about every other song.  “Hello McFly” has the lead singer wishing he could go back in time and fix his mistakes.  “My Girlfriend” talks about Marilyn Manson taking over his girlfriends life and causing him to “despite beautiful people.”

One of my favorites is “Staples”, in which the singer recalls a friends accident.

All you could hear
was kachunk, kachunk, kachunk.
All you could hear
was the doctor putting staples in this punk.

Totally out of character for a Christian band, which makes it great.  Other tongue-in-cheek songs are “17 Magazine” in which a guys sister says “My 17 Magazine tells me you’re in love” and “Nancy Drew” in which the singer confesses his love for the fictional character.

This is definitely one of the more original albums in Christian rock.

Posted in Music | 1 Comment »

Conservatism and greed

Posted by Chance on April 15, 2009

There is a debate on another blog concerning conservatives vs. liberals when it comes to giving, both voluntarily and through government.  I mentioned something about studies showing that conservatives give more than liberals, and dolphin brought up a good point about how a large portion of that giving is probably involved in the church.

Anyway, I don’t want to get into a whizzing contest about who gives more or anything like that.  The basic idea I want to get across is that conservatism is not motivated by greed, or not necessarily anyway.  In the same way that people who care about civil liberties and spying aren’t that way because they are planning to build explosives, or that people who believe in drug legalization just want to snort coke, etc… Economic conservatives are not necessarily greedy people who never want to give a dime to other people.

There are many reasons that conservatives believe in less welfare and lower taxes.  For one, they believe there is more value in voluntary giving, both for the giver and receiver.  The giver has the opportunity to be involved in a charitable act and demonstrate love toward other people, including complete strangers.  The receiver is more likely to appreciate what is given to them and see it less as an entitlement.

Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, or at least implied, is that tax rates are a symbol and an effect of government that encroaches upon more and more of our lives.

This doesn’t mean I believe in no welfare or social programs whatsoever.  I don’t think there would be enough voluntary charity to take care of every single person who needed it.  Some libertarians believe in complete elimination of any such programs, but I’m not at that point and don’t think I will be.

Anyway, this post is not intended as a persuasiave piece; no one has to buy what I’m selling, I just want to illustrate the idea that conservatives don’t believe in low taxes and less government simply because they are mean and want more money for their BMWs and swimming pools.

Posted in Christianity, Politics | 9 Comments »

What is the value of apologetics?

Posted by Chance on April 14, 2009

A question I have been wondering is what is the value of apologetics when it comes to evangelism?  For those unfamiliar with the term, Merriam-Webster defines apologetics as

1 : systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine)
2 : a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity

So, essentially, it is using reason and logic to defend the faith of Christianity.  It deals a lot with questions non-believers may have, such as “why is there suffering” or phrased differently “how can an all-powerful good God allow evil?”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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