Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where in the world is Dr. Zoidberg?

And for that matter, where are the rest of the people from the future? Well if you are asking that question you obviously need to turn on the tv more. They are all busy filming the new season of Futurama. So, they will check in when they can. In the meantime enjoy this little teaser.

Call Me Scrooge or Whatever, Just Don't Call Me A Fundie

Today is Halloween and you know what? I don't care. Ever since my final days of dressing up and trick or treating I have become more and more apathetic towards Halloween. I don't hate in the sense so many Fundies hate it, thinking it is a pagan holiday. No, I just don't care. I don't decorate nor will I turn on my light tonight and hand out candy. Today is a non-holiday as far as I am concerned. Tomorrow on the other hand is my favorite day. Massive sales on Halloween candy, now for a chocoholic that is something to be excited about.

I really don't know why I no longer care about Halloween. It wasn't something I set out to do. It just happened. Even now that I have a wee one, I am not sure that I am going to ever take her trick or treating, well may be if she really wants to go, like I said I am not against it. I don't know, maybe we will just celebrate the end of the tyranny of indulgences by indulging in Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

Happy Reformation Day!

Christ Jesus Lay In Death's Strong Bands - Martin Luther
1. Christ Jesus lay in death's strong bands,
For our offenses given;
But now at God's right hand He stands
And brings us life from heaven;
Therefore let us joyful be
And sing to God right thankfully
Loud songs of hallelujah!

2. No son of man could conquer Death,
Such mischief sin had wrought us,
For innocence dwelt not on earth,
And therefore Death had brought us
Into thraldom from of old
And ever grew more strong and bold
And kept us in his bondage. Hallelujah!

3. But Jesus Christ, God's only Son,
To our low state descended,
The cause of Death He has undone,
His power forever ended,
Ruined all his right and claim
And left him nothing but the name,--
His sting is lost forever.

4. It was a strange and dreadful strife
When Life and Death contended;
The victory remained with Life,
The reign of Death was ended;
Holy Scripture plainly saith
That Death is swallowed up by Death,
His sting is lost forever.

5. Here the true Paschal Lamb we see,
Whom God so freely gave us;
He died on the accursed tree--
So strong His love!--to save us.
See, His blood doth mark our door;
Faith points to it, Death passes o'er,
And Satan cannot harm us.

6. So let us keep the festival
Whereto the Lord invites us;
Christ is himself the Joy of all,
The Sun that warms and lights us.
By His grace He doth impart
Eternal sunshine to the heart;
The night of sin is ended.

7. Then let us feast this Easter Day
On Christ, the Bread of heaven;
The Word of Grace hath purged away
The old and evil leaven.
Christ alone our souls will feed,
He is our meat and drink indeed;
Faith lives upon no other.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Red Sox won?

Call me out of it but I didn't even know that the World Series had started. Oh well, I hadn't paid much attention to baseball since it was clear the Rangers and Astros were going no where. Much more important has been the daily soap opera that is College Football. While it has been a bittersweet season for the Aggies it has been fun watching the cavalcade of top ten upsets beginning with Michigan. And, of course, watching the Fighting Papists lose is always good for the soul. Then there is the eternal question of when is Mark Mangino coach of the Kansas Jayhawks going to have a heart attack. Hey, coach you can't eat like your lineman. Besides, you are too good of a coach to lose you to something stupid like heart disease. Last, but not least, is the fun of watching the TV talking heads sing the praises of the top ten teams just to watch them lose to an unranked or division II team and then have to back peddle on how such and such team is not too talented to be beaten.

All of this goes with out mentioning the heart burn caused by my consistently inconsistent Aggies. The way they are going you should buy stock in GlaxcoSmithKline because I am going through Tums like they were M&M's.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Hypocrisy of Birth Control

It never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical people can come in the name of reproductive control. Recently, the school board in Portland, Maine has approved of a plan to distribute birth control to middle schoolers sans parental consent. I am not even going to touch on how wrong it is for middle schoolers to be on birth control, I mean, does anybody outside of me see the potential health risks in giving an overload of female hormones to children with maturing bodies? There are health risks for mature women, much less a girl whose body is still developing. However, that is not my point.

My point is this, the school board is asking medical professionals to violate the gold standard of medical ethics. This gold standard is the requirement of consent by a reasonably capable adult before undergoing any medical intervention. Generally speaking, an eleven year old girl is not a reasonably informed adult. Face it a preteen girl is not going to understand all of the implications and hazards, she is only going to see a license to have sex. I am predicting it now; places that offer birth control to school kids will be reporting a rise in STDs in the near future. The standard practice is that their legal guardian must give signed consent for any medical procedure, except in the states that legally require doctors to give up their ethics in the name of protecting abortion providers.

There are reasons for this ethical standard. The primary reason is that medical decisions have a long range impact on our well being, even with something as minor as taking ginseng. So, doctors rely on their patients understanding the consequences and being able to make an informed decision. When I was at M.D. Anderson in Houston, they drilled into us the importance of informed consent. In fact, part of our role as chapel was to be with the patients when needed to be the advocate who would ask the questions they hadn't thought of before that point. As stated earlier an eleven year old cannot make this kind of decision. They don't even have enough experience to even know there are questions they need to ask. In fact, I am surprised that a school board would even hand such a decision to middle school kids.

Why you ask? Most middle schools tend think middle schoolers are walking hormone infernos incapable of thinking. If they think middle schoolers are not capable of learning because of the raging hormones why do they think they can make medical decisions? Now to be fair they are inconsistent with how they treat middle schoolers, but I will be honest their treatment of middle schoolers seems to depend on their desired outcome. For instance, they need a reason why so many are doing poorly in school then it is because the middle schoolers aren't taking ownership of their education.

But then in the end I can't say as I am surprised by this decision in Portland. They have bought into the fervent but misguided arguments of the pro-abortion crowd, that everybody needs anonymous access to birth control options. Despite the decision of grossly out of line Supreme Court the right to privacy is not the prime right of people. The preservation of life is the prime right and responsibility of all people.

As I was writing this blog, I thought of another problem. Drug interactions, if the parents do not know the middle schooler is on the pill how are they going to inform the doctor? It is not like doctors are good about sharing records. They do have the legal responsibility to maintain patient privacy you know. However, the pill can cause a large number of nasty reactions with other prescriptions. One lady I know had to go off of the pill because it had a bad reaction with her antidepressant. You don't mess around with prescriptions. There are reasons why the dispensing of these drugs are controlled by people who have spent 8 years in training and are licensed before entering their profession. They can mess you up badly. What is going to happen when a doctor does not know little miss eleven year old is on the pill and he proscribes a medicine that is known to have negative interactions. Is he going to be sued and possible lose his practice? I feel for the poor bugger who becomes the case law study for malpractice suits on this issue.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

They are just going to do it anyway

There is one argument that bugs me beyond any other and that is the justification "They are going to do it anyway so we might as well make them safe. Sadly, this is the argument used to protect those who commit abortion in our country. The latest attempt was in the news snippet section in Time, in the form of a map detailing how many of abortions are safe and unsafe in each region. While they did not really add on to the map any argumentation so to speak, it certainly was a passive aggressive way of arguing the need to keep abortion legal. However, it really is the dumbest argument in the world. You might as well say we should legalize murder because people are going to do it anyways and they need to have a safe environment in which to commit their murder. Oh wait, that is what they are saying. Maybe, I need a different example. I know we should legalize robbery because people are going to do it anyways and they have a right to pursue their chosen profession and we really need to be able to provide a safe environment for robbers because so many robberies are happening in dangerous back alley robberies.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

We Came To America To Get Good Medical Care

No, I am not talking about people from the south, rather our neighbors from the north. Canadian mothers are pouring over the border to deliver their children. Why? Because, their glorious socialized health system can't afford the equipment nor the space to take care of their babies. It seems Michael Moore's panacea of health care isn't all that it is cracked up to be. Apparently there isn't guaranteed health care, but a first come first served and not enough to go around health care system. Complain all you want about how expensive health care is in the U.S, but generally you are going to find somebody to treat you. And people think National Health care is the answer to all our problems in the U.S.

For additional reading: Canada's Expectant Mom's Heading to The U.S. to Deliver

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cool Nerd Queen

I'd say that beats a plain ol' Nerd King any day. says I'm a Cool Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!

Take that, Dr. Luther! =)

I am the King of the World!

Shut up, Leo and get out of my way! I am the King and I have proof. says I'm a Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!

Take that Rebellious Pastor's Wife ;)

Texas Tech Shows How Low They Can Go

Ok, I am a Texas College Football fan and former student of Texas A&M so I can get into the whole rivalry scene with the best of them, but the one thing I can't stand are the low brow insults. Well this past week students from Tech began selling t-shirts that featured a football player hanging a collie from a leash with the caption "Vick 'em" now this is not only tasteless but it is also supremely stupid, but then what can you expect from a group who couldn't get into the real universities.

I don't think I need to go into how tasteless the shirt is with its blatant endorsement of animal cruelty, but I can't imagine anybody being so dumb. If there is one thing that is going to turn people against you it is the threat of animal cruelty. Look at what happened to Michael Vick, the guy they modeled the shirt after, he was dumped faster than a Hollywood spouse. But, I guess I can't expect much from a school who's great achievements include ramming a goal post into the visitor section and throwing tortillas.

I really hope this epitome of classless lack of taste gets the team so fired up they pound Tech into the dirt on their home field. That would be the sweetest payback. Besides, I am tired of losing in Lubbock.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Christian Radio: It's the pits

I have to ask is there anything more inane and annoying than Christian Radio stations (excluding KFUO)?

Every single one that I have ever listened to is the exact same bland, white bread, and vacuous pop sound with equally bland DJ's. In fact, I have noticed that nearly every major station sounds so much a like I am beginning to think that it is Houston's KSBJ being rebroadcast in other towns with new call letters. The DJ's all sound alike and even the jingles and promotions are the same. It is enough to drive you mad!

Of course, it does not help that my preferences are toward the heavy side of music and they play cookie cutter pop music. Have you ever noticed how all the female artists sound like Rebecca St. James and all the male artists sound like Steven Curtis Chapman?

I'll be honest, it really does bug me because if you want to listen to the radio, you only have a choice between the raunchy dj's and not so wholesome music of the Rock stations or the questionable quality of white bread Christian Stations. The only thing that has preserved my sanity while driving is that I have an adapter for my Ipod. BTW, if you are ever on the east coast of Florida and you see a guy in a bluish green Grand Prix wearing a clerical collar and headbanging, that's me.

Now, the inane music isn't the only part about Christian Radio stations that bug me. Their theology is enough to drive me to drink. Oh wait, that is too easy. It is enough to drive me to wear burnt orange the day after Thanksgiving (I am an Aggie, folks) . My wife actually banned me from listening to KSBJ because she was sick of every car trip becoming a rant about the evils of decision theology and the latest drivel from the Left Below crowd. Arggh, sometimes it seemed there was better theological thought on Oprah.

In short Christian Radio is the pits no matter how you look at it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Zoidberg's Brain Slug Treatment Candidate of the Week Oct, 8 2007

This week's candidate is selected because he got married. Now I am not against the institution of marriage generally speaking, in fact, if it didn't mean death for my species I'd be involved myself. Besides it is hard to argue against how happy the good doctor's family is. But, enough about that! This candidate because of marriage isn't getting the treatment because of marriage rather who he is marrying. His now wife is collecting ex's faster than flies on that delicious 10 day old hot dog sitting on the street... Is anybody going to eat that?

I'll be right back...

Now where was I. Oh yeah.

My candidate this week receives his treatment because of his marriage to none other than Pamela Anderson. Fry tells me she is a hot babe from a show called Babewatch, Babywatch; oh I can't remember, but Dr. Luther tells me she is a fading beauty with whom wild living is catching up. Anyhow I grant my treatment to her new Beau, Rick Salomon as he boldly goes -snip- {edited by the good censors of the Foxnews Network where we report the news and let you decide}

The Appendix, not so useless after all

HT: Balaam's Ass

Scientists think that they may have found a use for that useless organ that explodes at random intervals maiming young people left and right and ruining their perfect bellies with scars. Apparently, they think it is the backup drive for our intestinal floral. Go figure, a bacteria laden organ was meant to replenish our intestines with good bacteria. Now if only I had kept my backup files when I was in highschool. Dr. Zoidberg tells me he can get me one cheap but I think he is getting his organs from the guy who tried to sell Fry some gills, so I think I will pass.

More on Tripp and spanking

In my previous post on spanking as a means of grace, I had a few commentators take issue with my lumping Tripp in with Pearl and Ezzo. They felt that he did not advocate spanking as a means of grace, but merely promoted spanking as a tool that could help parents point their kids to Christ when they misbehave. I answered their specific points in the comments, but I thought the general issue was worth another post.

While I do agree that Tripp does not go as far as the others - he may very well fall short of effectively claiming means of grace level for spanking, although I'm not so sure it is something to boast about - he is nowhere near orthodox.

Why? Because of this: Tripp claims that "God commands spanking":
The use of the rod is an act of faith. God has mandated its use (109).

Spanking is not "one tool among many" to Tripp, but THE tool. "Spanking" is now synonymous with "discipline". As far as Tripp is concerned, if you don't spank, then by definition you aren't disciplining:
If you fail to spank, you fail to take God's Word seriously. You are saying you do not believe what the Bible teaches about the import of these issues. You are saying that you do not love your child enough to do the painful things that God has called you to (149).

And if you aren't disciplining, then you are disobeying God, and your children are effectively lost:
The rod is a rescue mission. The child who needs a spanking has become distanced from his parents through disobedience. The spanking is designed to rescue the child from continuing in his foolishness. If he continues, his doom is certain. Thus, the parent, driven by love for the child, must use the rod (110, emphasis mine).

Spanking cannot guarantee your children's salvation, Tripp says, but NOT spanking will pretty much doom them. How can that be, unless spanking has some sort of power that no other method of discipline has? (Of course, according to Tripp, there isn't any other method of discipline: Spanking is the only way mandated by God.) But never fear, Tripp has the obvious answer: he says spanking DOES have power - the power to change the heart:
[S]panking enables you to deal with issues of the heart....The heart is the battleground. The spanking comes only because it is God's method of driving foolishness far from your child's heart (153).

The child is a sinner. There are things within the heart of the sweetest little baby that, allowed to blossom and grow to fruition, will bring about eventual destruction. The rod functions in this context. It is addressed to needs within the child. These needs cannot be met by mere talk....[F]oolishness is bound up within his heart. Allowed to take root and grow for 14 or 15 years, it will produce a rebellious teenager who will not allow anyone to rule him. The spanking process drives foolishness from the heart of a child. Confrontation with the immediate and undeniably tatile sensation of a spanking renders an implacable child sweet(105-106, emphasis mine).

The rod returns the child to the place of blessing. Left to himself, he would continue to live a lust-driven life. He would continue to seek comfort in being a slave to his desires and fears. The rod of correction returns him to the place of submission to parents in which God has promised blessing (115).

There you have it, folks. Spanking is "God's method of driving foolishness far from your child's heart". "It is addressed to needs within the child." "These needs cannot be met by mere talk." "The child is a sinner...Left to himself, he would continue to live a lust-driven life." "Thus, the parent...must use the rod." "The rod returns the child to the place of blessing."

So, Tripp may not say spanking saves, but he DOES say that it must be used, and not using it has catastrophic consequences. That is completely unorthodox, and is more than bad enough to warrant jettisoning his advice entirely. This is a good example of how ONE wrong doctrine can so thoroughly poison an otherwise correct book.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A Much Needed Update

I finally updated our Lutheran Blogs of Interest. I hope you can understand my laziness. It is just so hard to copy and paste code you know. Special thanks to our illustrious Aardvark for going to all the trouble to compile a list of Lutheran bloggers.

Tila Tequila and Her God of Self

Tila Tequila, star of the controversial new MTV reality show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila - a Bachelor type show pitting 32 men and 32 women against each other for the love of Ms. Tila - has recently come out saying she has made her peace with God. My first thought was, "Woo-Hoo!" But, as usual, I am too optimistic for reality. Tila has instead found a means by which to rationalize and support her behavior as acceptable to God, despite all that he says against it. quotes her saying:
"I stopped feeling bad about myself because I was told that I was a 'bad' person for whatever reasons and opinions," Tequila explained. "That's when I turned my life around. I accepted me for who I am in all my glory. I accepted the fact that God would love me as long as my heart is good."
What a farce: God will love me as long as my heart is good? Did you ever see the part where God said that nobody is good? David writes in Psalm 14, "...They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one..."
Tila deludes herself, if she honestly thinks that God acknowledges her as good. He sees you as evil, Tila, because he sees all sins as evil - but there is good news. David, who recorded God's words declaring all evil, also shares with us the only thing we can do with our sins: confess them.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. Psalm 51:1-14
God, who is faithful and just, will forgive your sins when you confess them before him (1 John 1:9). This is what makes God so cool: we can experience his love and acceptance through the Blood of the Lamb. The very God, who rightly declared we are all evil and deserving of death, did not leave us in that state. He gave us a way out through the sacrifice of Jesus. If you want to be right with God, that is where you should look - not some mumbo-jumbo about accepting yourself for who you are.

Sadly, I don't see Tila receiving this truth anytime soon. She is way too happy worshiping herself. She feels all special because she has 2 million plus friends on Myspace, and is going to make a load of money with the Corinthian-esque spectacle MTV is airing; yet none of these things will do her a lick of good in the end.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Coach Fran and HIPAA

Enough silliness, it is time to talk serious. Coach Fran has caused a serious stir with his high priced email list, much revolving around HIPAA violations. For you people outside of the medical profession, it is the set of rules regulating the release of medical and personal information. I was a student chaplain in a hospital and therefore required to learn the regulations and to be honest HIPAA is a paper tiger designed to make patients feel better. To null and void the HIPAA rules requires only a piece of paper with a signature that does not have to be witnessed. Though I do not know for sure as I was never a student athlete, I strongly suspect in the myriad of papers they have to sign is a HIPAA release form that allows them to release medical information. So, until we learn otherwise all the detractors screaming HIPAA violations ought to shut-up.

Now the question about rules violations with NCAA that is for the investigative committee to determine.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Zoidberg's Brain Slug Treatment Candidate of the Week part whatever.

Dr. Zoidberg is back!

Did anybody notice I was gone? Well? Nobody ever notices me!
Well I am back and if nobody likes it, they can speak to the claw!
I tell you, this is the last time I go looking through boxes to find a meal - you just never know where you are going to end up.

Now that I am back, it didn't take long to find a new candidate for my patented treatment. This week's candidate is a person who was hired to be smart, but did something dumb in his job. You see, he thought that it would be a good idea to sell membership to an email list and send out secrets concerning people at his work place. Not smart in the best of times, but, you see, he already has people hunting his head because they don't think he is living up to expectations. So, with no further ado, I give you this weeks ZBSTC: Coach Dennis Franchione of Texas A&M.

Just what does it mean to follow Jesus?

Really, what does it mean to follow Jesus? I have heard so many different view points, with the most recent coming from the Episcopal head Schori. She states:

"What does it mean to follow Jesus? How did Jesus live? With whom did he eat? With whom did he converse?"
"Jesus hung out with people on the margins. He hung out with people who were unacceptable to the Judaism of his time," she pointed out. "I think that's what it means to follow Jesus." -

A nice sentiment, and to a point it is true. However, as always, the devil is in the details. Jesus did hang out with the "undesirables", such as Matthew, Zaccheus, and the foot washing lady - to name a few - but somehow I have a feeling that how He hung out with them is far different than what Mrs. Schori means. Jesus went to them because they were sick with a terminal disease called sin and He had the cure: His shed blood on the cross. As Jesus came with the cure, He did what any good prophet would do and called these people to repentance. The lady caught in adultery, for instance: He told her to go and sin no more. Jesus loved her enough to forgive her, but He didn't give her license to continue in her sin. I have a feeling Mrs. Schori probably doesn't even acknowledge that as part of Scripture.

Whereas Jesus went and hung out with the undesirables in order to bring them to him in repentance, I suspect Mrs. Schori is hanging out with the "undesirables" while affirming and encouraging them in their sin by proclaiming a false gospel. You know the one: Jesus loves us and wants us to be happy, so do what makes you happy. You know, the happy gospel that doesn't have any nasty law hanging around to make us feel bad.

Schori goes on to say, "All people – including gay and lesbian Christians and non-Christians – are deserving of the fullest regard of the Church." Again, it would sound good coming out of Daniel Preus' mouth, but sure sounds foul coming out of hers. Namely, because she means it to include and affirm them where they are at, whereas I would bet my last dollar Dr. Preus would mean to call them to repentance and faith in the sacrificial Lamb of God. Yes, people trapped by homosexuality deserve our attention - because they too are a special creation of God, and He wants to see them purified in the blood of His Son - but it isn't going to happen if we coddle them and tell them they are fine when they most definitely are not; that is as stupid as expecting a cancer patient to get better by affirming them in their cancer while not doing anything to treat the disease. I am all for reaching out to the homosexuals and to others, but let's not ignore half of God's message to us just because it makes us feel bad.

Monday, October 1, 2007

School: The New Religion

Governments have always striven to instill unity in the populaces they govern. Understandable, considering the easiest way to control the population is when they have a high degree of similarity. In centuries past, governments looked to religion to instill a unified value system in its citizenry - such as Nebuchadnezzar and his great idol, Pharaoh and his deification, Rome and its Emperor worship, Constantine and Christianity, Prussia and the unified national church - the list goes on. The United States even fell into this category until recent years; prior to the sixties Christianity predominated and the government looked to the church to form the moral values of its citizens. Then the minority religions gained a voice and the government realized its predicament: they were walking a tight line as far as the anti-establishment clause was concerned. So, the government had to back off from its quasi-Christian mindset to endorse diversity. Now it had a problem: who could it look to to instill a unified mindset?

The government turned to the one thing it can control: education. Our educational system, public and private, could be used by the government to form the value systems of its people. In recent years, the government has been flexing its muscles in order to change the curriculum into a creature designed to make children into the little governmental "yes men" it desires, forming the young into people who look to Uncle Sam for all the answers: to tell them what to think, and what to buy. Don't believe me? Just read the editorials and see the number of people screaming for the government to fix all their little problems. The government has, in essence, made itself into a god by instilling into people the hope that it can provide for all their happiness and needs.

That is not all - it has taken a page out of our book and is using education to brainwash our children with the ideal of acceptance. Take, for instance, a school in Massachusetts, reading King and King to 2nd graders. Massachusetts has a vested interest in having people accepting the homosexual lifestyle - because they need continued support to maintain the legality of homosexual marriage in the state - so they are training them on their desired path early so they won't go astray.

Where does all of this place religion in our society? On the outside, of course, and dismissed as a non-entity, un-important. Am I dismayed by this? Yes and No. Yes, because religion is a major factor even if secular society wishes to deny it. And No, because the government's dismissal of religion does nothing to affect the truth, because the truth never changes. Besides, Christianity seems to do pretty well when it is on the outside. Not to mention, Christianity is not a religion of control as much as it is a religion of influence through true freedom.