Monday, October 31, 2005
Today is Reformation Day, the day Martin Luther pounded his 95 Theses or declarations to the door of Wittenburg Cathedral in 1517. In doing so, he threw down the gauntlet in the hopes that the Pope and his minions would engage him in debate. Luther argued for sola scriptura, sola fides, and sola something else. In English that means the church is not over scripture but under scripture. Therefore, the Catholic Church should be held accountable by and to God's Word, or Holy Scripture. Luther also clarified that we are saved by faith alone with God's grace. We cannot earn our salvation through the buying of indulgences or the doing of good works. Luther never intended to split from Catholicism but only wanted to reform it, to bring it back to Biblical truth. Popel Leo X would have none of it and declared Luther a heretic. And thus, the Reformation was born and the domination of the Catholic church and its popes weakened.
Two men were precursors to Martin Luther but with a similar message: John Wycliffe and Jan Hus. Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible into the English vernacular so that the common man could read it for himself. For centuries the Bible was only in Latin and the only people who could read it were those who were highly educated, not a large percentage of the population. He was also against the church being in charge of governmental or temporal affairs and condemned it's use of the sword against its enemies. He believed that it corrupted the church. For his troubles, Wcliffe was posthumously burned as a heretic. Jan Hus was also burned at the stake as a heretic for propagating the beliefs of Wycliffe in Bohemia or modern day Czech Republic. Both these men sowed seeds that would be harvested by Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and others.
We live with the legacy of the reformation in many ways. One big way is that it opened the way for the separation between church and state. So everyone living in America owes these first Protestants a huge Thank You for bucking the establishment or the system or "the Man" if you will to follow their conscience and the truth. To this day, the Catholic Church believes the Protestants broke off from Church tradition. However, Protestants believe they continued what was started in the early years of the Church and it was the Catholic Church that diverged from the truth. And yet, more than ever there's an ecumenical spirit growing between Catholics and Protestants (and even the Orthodox, but that's another story).
Take a moment and give a prayer of thanks for these men and the positive changes they wrought on the world.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
In a recent speech in Diyarbakir, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the government has mishandled relations with the Kurds, and their long-standing grievances need to be addressed through
greater democracy, not repression. In this largest city in the nation's
troubled Kurdish region, the crowds applauded wildly. "The significance of his
words can't be underestimated," said the chairman of Diyarbakir's influential
Bar Association. "It's the first time any Turkish leader has admitted to
wrongdoing on the part of the state." Since Erdogan came to power in 2002, his
party has enacted sweeping reforms allowing Kurds to broadcast and publish in
their own language as well as to teach it in private courses.
Friday Night Speaker Series
Date: 14 OCTOBER 2005
Time: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
Where: Room #200
Monday, October 10, 2005
I'm not keen on the Miers nomination. I wanted and think we needed the fight that could've happened over a real nominee with stellar credentials. I'm really curious to see if Republicans will bork Miers. If they do, it would be a huge testament to their belief in the importance of ideas over the strictly political. We'll see....
The most telling thing about Miers is that she sees membership in the Federalist Society as excessively “political,” yet doesn’t think twice about associating herself with a lecture series that invites the likes of Gloria Steinem, Pat Schroeder, and Susan Faludi. That’s because Miers’ political career is based on being the one member of the conservative Texas establishment that liberal feminists can best work with. Miers has spent a lifetime being the sort of conservative who tries to swim within the “mainstream.” Miers would rather make a partnership with the far left, than risk being called an outsider on the right. Her almost obsessive silence about her political views probably derives in part from the fact that her own support base comprehends everyone from pro-life evangelical conservatives to Susan Faludi-like feminists.
Even when Miers went out of her way to make a conservative point–as in the drive for ABA neutrality on abortion–her underlying purpose was to keep her Texas group connected to the national center of “mainstream” liberalism (and her formal position was mere neutrality). And even if Miers’ advice to the White House to go slow on affirmative action and stem cells was based on a political calculation, it was a calculation that fit very comfortably with Miers’ long-term intellectual-political orientation. Whatever her personal views, Miers doesn’t feel comfortable openly positioning herself to the right of what liberals call the “mainstream” on social issues. My sense is that this makes Miers into something of a Sandra Day O’Connor figure–someone who could go either way on the big social issues. On the one hand, Miers’s personal instincts are conservative. On the other hand, she is used to working in coalition with, making concessions to, and often sympathizing with, feminist liberals. (David Frum's excerpts from Miers's writings broadly support this point.)
On abortion, Miers is clearly opposed personally, yet her history is that of working with, and making concessions to, feminists to her left. So I’d say that one’s a toss-up. In short, given her history of building coalitions with liberal feminists, I think Miers is likely to be an O’Connor-like figure, who could break either way on all the big social issues.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Yet his endeavors this past month have me counting on both hands now and that's a big deal in our household. Not only that, but all the speciality meals he's made have turned out fantastic. For a beginner, he's marvelous. His lasagna, chicken picata, and now stuffed pork chops have all been winners. And pork is a difficult meat 'cause it dries out so quickly. Not these chops. Moist, succulent, and oh so tasty! If you have a mister or a misses who doesn't know sauteing from stewing give them Cooks Illustrated. It's the best magazine for beginners since they give detailed instructions from start to finish and explain all the science behind the technique.
My mister loves me 'cause he's willing to do what I hate to keep me happy and us both nourished. Left to me, it would be cereal every night with a boiled egg thrown in for protein.