Church of Scientology finally classified as a Cult.

Fine if you want to kidnap, assault, threaten, intimidate

and even be all sinister, sneaky, and deceptive, just don’t . . .

Release flaming balloons.  That’s right.  The dastardly dudes of darkness have gone too far.  Forget the human carnage wrought be their nefarious hands, this time they’ve threatened the environment.

It’s so bad, the “church” has actually issued an apology!  I know, right!  This is the group that infamously NEVER RESPONDS and ALWAYS ATTACKS.

And this effrontery took place in Ventura, California which is about 70 miles north of Los Angeles.  Yeah, go figure, an area of the country that is noted for used hypodermic needles and human excrement piling up in the streets and sidewalks gets their granola laced panties in a wad over a couple of hundred balloons.

But at least the world now knows how sinister the Church of Scientology really is.

And if I commit suicide in the next couple of weeks, the balloony-tunes did it.

Trump: “Corona Virus no biggie”; appoints Pence as Czar.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump faces a critical personal challenge in grappling with the new coronavirus outbreak: asking Americans to believe him after he and some of his top advisers have contradicted federal scientists in playing down the threat.

Keenly aware of the stakes not just for public health but also his credibility, Trump conducted a lengthy press conference Wednesday evening aimed at reassuring everyone that he has the crisis well in hand, saying the outbreak “may get a little bigger; it may not get bigger at all.” And he continued to distance himself from the stated opinion of public health officials that it’s inevitable the virus will spread within the United States.

To prove he didn’t think the Corona Virus was much of a threat, Trump said he was putting Vice President Mike Pence in charge of his administration’s response to the potential pandemic. Trump, however, rejected that he had made Pence a “czar.”  To reinforce his position, the President also announced a $2.5 billion plan to help combat the illness.

“We’re going to nip this non-threat in the bud.”

Those surveyed agreed with Bloomberg: Chinese like their system.

During a town hall on CNN on Wednesday, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated that China doesn’t “seem to want” a system where people get to choose their leaders and “They like their system.”

Democratic Presidential hopeful, Michael Bloomberg, created a mini-stir when he failed to call Communist China . . . well, Communist.  He later quipped, he “was just doing a Bernie Sanders imitation.”

But it turns out that a survey taken by CNN found that 100% of the Chinese who were not executed and/or had their organs harvested said emphatically that “likee the system very much.”

 

Barack Obama repudiates Barack Obama.

Former President Barack Hussein Obama joined his voice to the growing chorus of folks who are rejecting things that Obama said and did as President.  Said Obama, “I’ve got a new appreciation for truthiness of things.  And I want the Republicans to stop running ads that have me saying things.”  Turns out Republicans are using audio clips of Obama in campaign ads against former Veep Joe Biden, referring to Biden’s posturing on criminal justice reform as, in Obama’s words (and voice), “Plantation Politics.

For his part, Joe Biden rejected the accusation noting, “I don’t know nuthin’ about birthin’ no babies.

Obama continued, “this is way worse than that ‘if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” crap I used to sling.  But I repudiate that too.”

Biden’s Whoppers.

Biden announces contingency plan if he doesn’t get nomination.

Joe Biden today announced his contingency plan if he should fail to get the Democratic nomination for President.

The former Vice President told reporters that he was going into the restaurant business, specifically fast food.  He will be opening a chain of hamburger serving diners called Crazy Uncle Joe’s Whoppers.  Biden reminded reporters that he was the one that originally coined the term Whoppers back when he was slinging burgers in the ‘hood.

While franchises are available now.  Biden will open eateries in Soweto, South Africa since he did hard time there.  It’s also only 900 miles away from a prison he almost visited.  In addition, outlets will be established on the campuses of the many historically black universities and colleges that Joe has attended.

Atheist’s Dilemma.

Science, CNN in one-in-a-billion chance, get it right. Well, duh!

Honor your mother but not . . .

Elizabeth Warren, the only Indian in the race, goes off the Democrat Reservation; hints at prolife view.

Democrats squared off against each other again in debate.  Zinger of the night was when Elizabeth Warren, the only Indian in the race went off the Democrat’s “Never met an abortion we didn’t like” platform and rebuked opponent Michael Bloomberg for allegedly once telling an employee to kill her unborn baby.

Warren later clarified her comment saying, “No, the only bad abortion is no abortion.  I know men are the boss, but they shouldn’t be able to tell a woman what they can do with their own body or the body of their unborn child.”  The usually muddled Warren, stayed muddled.

When asked what she hoped her jibe was going to do

The End of the Sidewalk: The Coming Demise of Ecclesiastical Tribalism.

I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to break bread with some fine young men.  One of these chaps, for whom I have great affection, knows of my previous sojourn in American Evangelicalism (including the Southern Baptist Convention and other baptistic denominations) and my later (and longer) respite as a Presbyterian.  The latter filled about 30 years of my life.  Then, at the ripe old age of 50, I ceased protesting and came into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Yeah.  I’m that guy.

Recently, my friend sent me an article by Tom Ascol and commentary on the same by Doug Wilson (Unleashing my Inner Tozier), wherein Wilson expresses his dismay at the state of affairs in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA).  My young friend asked me what I thought.

His bad.  Here’s my response:

Dear ******,

I read the article you sent my way. Thanks for thinking of me.  As you said, you know my solution to your “protestant problems.”  Not particularly surprised by the SBC’s bad behavior.  Actually, I’m kinda surprised anyone’s surprised.  But I find Doug Wilson’s commentary on Ascol more interesting.

I have only two disagreements with Wilson’s conclusion (“burn the SBC and PCA to the ground”):

  1. It doesn’t go far enough, and;
  2. He presupposes ecclesiastical cataclysm. The process is way less dramatic, but the result is wholly inevitable.

I must add to the points of disagreement the question that neither Ascol nor Wilson ask: At what point can we say that the great protestant ecclesiastical experiment is a failure?

I have said for years, decades now (even while still a protester), that Protestantism has within it the seeds of its own destruction.  If I had to prove that thesis in court, I’d offer Ascol’s article as Exhibit A.  Doug Wilson’s commentary would be Exhibit B.  Sorry Doug.

But I don’t think the demise is going to be some Noahic cataclysm.  I’d guess more of a yawning collapse.  What “started” (to the extent that one presupposes that rebellion started in the reformation) as a correction (Luther, Calvin et al. ‘fixing’ the abuses – real and perceived – of Rome) has devolved to its current expression in a scant 500 years.  I can’t help but wonder if these protesting patriarchs are consigned to an eternity of asking themselves “What were we thinking?”

Since then we have accelerating, ever-fracturing denominationalism (especially that denomination  of non-denominational) with its “because I say so” claim to authority.  Luther loved that phrase, by the way.  But, hey, that’s just how vow-breakers roll.

Now we’re well into the last gasp of Protestantism: the devolution from denominationalism to Ecclesiastical Tribalism.

Wilson’s call is to “burn down” two big pillars of American evangelicalism – the SBC and the PCA.  Interestingly, Wilson calls out the conservative wing.  But that’s how it goes: the fracturing is fueled by the auto-cephalic pursuit of orthodoxy.  Instead of “holier than thou”, Protestantism’s decline is marked by a Pharisaical “more orthodox than thou.” Orthodoxy is obviously good; but, to quote Calvin, this elevation of consensus-driven orthodoxy of the  chieftain and his tribe is “like putting a sword in the hand of a lunatic.”

I assume, by extension Wilson would include just about every mega-church in America  (Andy Stanley, Joel Osteen and all those other, equally lovely TV preachers).  If they want to be thoroughgoing protestants about it, why not say “Burn them at the stake” – and mean it – instead of a figurative “burn the [entities] down”?

They long for the days of Tozer (1897-1963) from which we’re just a generation past.  Yet, they regale him like he hearkens to us from antiquity (calling Tozer a Tishbite, a scriptural assignation exclusive to Elijah).  The descent into Tribalism is not being led the ecclesiastical Bernie Sanders of our day,  but by men who all consider themselves “conservatives” (because getting rid of “booty-shaking in church” will fix everything).  Yet they completely forget what being a conservative means: conserving a history; a heritage.  You know, like real Church Fathers.  They want to turn the clock back; but only by a nanosecond.

We’re  in the death throes of Protestantism and the ones standing on the gas pedal facilitating it don’t even know it.  How can they not?  They are generally guys that are way smarter and more well-read than I am.  A “sign” shouldn’t be necessary for the obvious.  They see neither the sign nor the obvious.

You know my solution to your “protestant problems,” which you – for now, at least – don’t accept.  Fine.  But know that your alternative is to embrace of Ascol, Wilson, and company’s call for more of the same?  “We’re headed for that cliff.  Floor it!”  Seems like they’re looking for a solution, any solution.  Except THE solution.

What we have here is a really bad case of Romophobia.  They’d rather dip seven times in the Jordan that do that!  (II Kings 5).  Or just stick with the leprosy.

Remove or reduce the Sacraments and try to fill the void with a version of America’s Got (Preaching) Talent.  Then reject the visible Head of the Church on Earth.  All that’s left is a bunch of chieftains doing their own enlightened form of booty-shaking around the tribal campfire, holding on to their miniscule papacies.

To paraphrase Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) in The Patriot: “I’d rather have one [Pope] 3000 miles away than 3000 [popes] one mile away.”  And, trust me, the woods are lousy with popes.

And while Ascol, Wilson, et al. stare heavenward looking for something A.D. 70ish, it will be more like an old wooden shed that once stood on the back of my property.  It leaned.  A lot. (To the right, BTW.)  Then one day with a puff of wind, it was in pieces on the ground.  Burnt to the ground.  Only better.

So, it matters not whether the collapse of the SBC or the PCA (and all of Protestantism) is a good thing.  It’s that it’s an inevitable thing.

It’s already at the end of the sidewalk.