Tagged: news

Humility

We’re studying source and form criticism of the Pentateuch. Orthodox Christianity has it that Moses is the author, and it was written around 1300 BC. Super smart Germans in the late 1800s AD developed a hypothesis that super smart westerners continue to support that these first five books of the Bible are comprised of material from several sources and authors and with nefarious, political agendas anywhere from 1100 BC to 500 BC.

First question: Does it really matter? Yes. One illustration of why it matters–Jesus of Nazareth is recorded as saying “As Moses wrote…” Things start crumbling if Jesus Christ lied.

Second question: Is humility a virtue (and therefore worth aspiring toward)? Much of the doctrine of this school revolves around orienting the student’s focus during our lifetimes. Are we to be centered on the human or God? Boldly claiming that despite the fact that there is no empirical evidence confirming the “documentary hypothesis” and millenia of tradition rejecting it that you are confident that Moses did not write the Pentateuch is a “human” or a “self-centered” perspective. On the other hand, concluding that while it’s important to account for the Pentateuch’s claims against the archaeological record, a spirit of humility in the concession that thousands of years of tradition probably counts as passing the test of time is “God” centered.

There seems to be a undertone that only academically incapable minds would reasonably conclude humility is the best course. But I’ve been going to school with you, living with you, and listening to you for a total of thirty-four years now. And I’ve out-performed all but the brightest of you–when I’ve cared to–according to the ways we sinners have developed to measure such things. And yet I hear most of you questioning my academic prowess in my confession of humility and vote for “God” centered-ness.

Just a passing thought that intrigued me during class today. On to the opening pages of A New Catholic Catechism and not enough sleep. Wish me luck.

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Thank You

Great comments. Thank you for taking the time to share.

Koine Greek is apparently a language where word order doesn’t matter as much as it does in English. A bad illustration of this is in Greek you could say, “Is green the house” or “the house is green” or “Green is the house” and other features of the language render each of those orders equivalent to “the house is green”. I mention this because I attempted to use a tactic of Greek to open yesterday’s post. Since word order is variable within a sentence, writer’s are in a sense more free to make their points via word order. Scholars, then, have concluded that the first word of a Koine Greek sentence contains the emphasis of the thought. And that’s why I began by saying “allegedly”. I wanted to succinctly indicate that I wasn’t beating a drum or jumping to conclusions etc.

Given the all-to-familiar reports of the Columbine murderers’ asking “Are you a Christian?”, and given Evangelical Christianity’s (the brand I’m participating in) tendency to believe the “end times” are near and therefore view any attack on Christians as proof, I too was skeptical of this claim when it was presented. We all have our opinions about the integrity and motives of newspapers, but when the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both include the claim, I would like to believe we can all agree that there is at least a strength to it. Maybe not. In any case, only time will tell if the claim is verifiable and true.

So what was the seminary’s response? Prayer.

Your Turn

Allegedly, the shooter singled out Christians.

Because my ego knows no bounds, after first hearing about this shooting this morning whilst in Greek class at seminary, I immediately thought of you and how surely you’re curious to know how a school bent on training Christian leaders would respond/feel/think/report this shooting. And I’ll tell you–after you tell me what you guess the scene was like. Because I’m desperate to hear reactions from the people on the streets. One rule. Be honest. What was your first reaction to first hearing that Christians were singled out? And what was your first reaction to my question, “I wonder how Pete’s seminary presented/responded to the reports that Christians were singled out?”

Thanks.

Something For Nothing Or Something For Manther

My first thought when I visited www.wemadeamillionaire.com was to vomit. A social experiment where some anonymous person becomes a millionaire because a bunch of gullible suckers have nothing better to spend their money on than anonymous website builders? Right. A beggar is a beggar is a beggar. No, thank you–get a job like the rest of us.

More than that, just a few short months ago I’m pretty sure this entire world was sick of the 1%. Why would we want to create another one? And the idea that it would be interesting to see how this person would spend the money? Again, no, thank you.

But then I stumbled across something truly brilliant: www.wemadeacatmillionaire.com 

Here’s something I can get behind, I thought. Poor Manther! Removed from his life in the urban wilds and placed into virtual solitary confinement. Tssk, tssk. And the pictures. Manther is one handsome feline and yet he can’t catch a break, it seems.

Until now.

Someone, we may never know who, has taken up Manther’s cause. Someone, a clearly benevolent soul, has recognized injustice and was moved to action. Someone, a lion for the animal kingdom, has finally come to their senses. Because of that someone, we can all help Manther become a cat millionaire–perhaps the first cat millionaire.

Now I know what you’re thinking. I was thinking the same thing. Who even likes cats? And you’re right. I don’t like cats. But even I can’t deny the power of the photos. And the video! Oh emm gee. Manther just wants to do yoga.

Like the T-Rex from Jurassic Park, Manther doesn’t want to be fed, he wants to hunt.

Want to be a part of THE social experiment of 2015? Then visit WEMADEACATMILLIONAIRE. More than visit, DONATE! DONATE like I donated. I didn’t think I could scrape together the money, but there comes a time when each of us must silence our reason in order to hear our hearts. My heart said donate. Donate to Manther. Listen to your heart, people. Donate to Manther.

Who’s Fighting For The Leprechauns?

Constitution or no constitution, I think it’s a valid question.

And if my daughter’s classroom had anything to say about them around last St. Patty’s Day, what with chairs overturned and tables on their side, I wouldn’t want to piss those little guys off. They can be awfully mischievous.

Mr. Williams

By Request

I took a course in college called “Mass Media and Communications”. I can’t remember the reason. But what I will never forget is one of the lessons. This was back in the early 2000s, so HDTV (1080p etc) wasn’t prevalent yet. The professor taught us how a television worked. I had no idea before then. He explained that a device inside the box quickly draws a very thin line–two hundred forty evenly spaced lines actually–across the screen. Then on its return trip, this device fills in the blanks just left with another set of lines. That’s where 480i (NTSC) comes from. Old televisions in America had 480 “interlaced” lines. Now we all watch in some level of progressively scanning lines, meaning the picture is fully refreshed each trip across the screen and the image is high definition. Now you know.

What all this techno-mumbo-jumbo means to us mortals is that the images on the television screen are an illusion. They’re not really there. Different than a painting, sculpture, or the words and images in a tangible book/magazine/newspaper, which we can really see and feel and touch, the images on the television screen are an optical illusion. Our brain is able to put together all these rapidly moving lines and we think we see a man or woman or if you’re four and a half years old, it seems that all you see is an Octonaut.

But the truth is there is nothing there. There is only an illusion. Mr. Williams is not in our living room. Only a powerful illusion that our brain wants to believe is a trustworthy man named Brian Williams is there. But even that is not true. This illusion isn’t on or in the television, the illusion is in our minds.

The question then becomes, “Can an illusion lie?” I say no. I say there is no non-fiction television to begin with. How could there be?

If there is anything to be learned from current events, it is that we’ve allowed ourselves, yet again, to be fooled. The new question, the only question I see remaining at the end of this is, “How many more times will we let it happen before we turn off the TV?”

American

A text from my brother last weekend informed me both that Europe had recently been terrorized and that three (point seven) million people demonstrated unity in and around Paris. My thoughts were “no surprise” and “that’s seems pretty remarkable” in that order. Honestly, as you can tell by there being no post released this morning, the show of unity has actually rendered me speechless. (Mon and Tues were kinda already developed over the weekend). I’d love to comment on such a big event. But there didn’t seem to be anything to say. It seemed awesome that that many people gathered together. When was the last time that many people got together? I want to say the million man march way back when claimed a million, but it’s always hard to count. Several other marches here have attempted to gather a million people, but they never succeed. One million people is a lot of people in the same place.

But here’s the thing. I don’t think any relatives of terrorists were in that show of unity. Were any parents of terrorists there? Or sibilngs? Or first cousins? Second cousins? How about their children or wives, did any of them show up?

Scratch that.

I want to talk about America. There are three hundred sixty million Americans. Subtract the approximately seventeen million college students and their professors who believe the terrorists may have a point, and that leaves three hundred forty million Americans walking the streets in unity against terrorism daily. Does anyone really doubt our resolve? Where’s that headline? Where’s that photo op?

Moreover, the United States’ active duty military numbers over one million men and women. And these people are serious. They don’t march down streets of peaceful cities lined with world-renowned architecture. They walk down dirt roads lined with IEDs. It’s easy to let piecemeal news stories about a couple fuck-ups ruin the larger organization’s image, but honestly the only image that counts is the one that includes American men and women serving this country today, American men and women who put their family through hell and risk their own lives near daily, American men and women who volunteer to do this because they were born (or fought their way) into a country that knows its way of life is better and worth sacrifices, American men and women who are constantly setting higher standards of honor, respect, service, integrity, excellence, decency, dignity, and a whole host of other virtues unlike any of their armed predecessors, American men and women who travel away from their neck of the woods to yours because you can’t get your shit together.

So yeah. It was neat that over three million Europeans went to the park. But when are you going to impress me?

Black People Does Not Exist

Black People does not exist. Black People is not an organization. Black People has no leader. Black People has no agenda. Black People has no logo. Black People is not looking to increase its membership. Black People has no bank account. Black People has no buildings.

Black People does not hate White People. Black People does not believe in looting. Black People does not encourage lawlessness. Black People does not teach its young members to ignore policemen. Black People does not fear for its life.

Black People does not align itself with views held by Al Sharpton, Eric Holder, Barack Obama, or Bill Cosby. Black People does not have a dress code. Black People does not believe the dream is deferred.

Black People is not responsible for Ferguson. Black People does not support Michael Brown’s family. Black People is not angry at Darren Wilson. Black People is not angry, period. That’s because there is no Black People.

You may wonder where Black People came from if it does not exist. You may be curious and ask, “Did Black People ever exist?” The answer is irrelevant to the universal goal. The goal is to get there. And no, there will never be defined more clearly than as an abstract place that I want to arrive at safely–with you.

The only way to get there is together. It’s the slogan of this blog. It is by no means an original concept. Air Force pilots and flight crews say it in the negative or inverse, well, they say it this way: “You don’t crash in compartments.” It is a stark reminder that aircrews use to eloquently express the concept if you know something is wrong with the flight and choose to let an outside pressure–real or perceived–prevent you from sharing the information and consequently the aircraft crashes, you die too. In this case, the mechanical problem is the widespread belief of a falsehood–that Black People is a real thing.

Crew, Black People does not exist. This has been true for some time, but it is now clear that the safe landing of this flight depends on you believing it. Black People does not exist. There is no Black People. Believe it.

Pilots More Capable Than Almighty Roughnecks?

For the pilots. (And Greeny.)

Raccoons might be taking over the world. That is, unless roughnecks hear about the story.

To a roughneck nothing is impossible. So when I heard that the raccoons that Japan imported for fun have multiplied out-of-control and are about to destroy thousand-year old buildings and that there’s nothing that can be done about it, I pictured a roughneck. Clear as day I saw the same face I see on the rig every time I express doubt that something can be done. The face has eyes that are lit with excitement and a mouth whose left-half is pursed together while its right half is barely open in a smirk. And though a still image, I can see that the face is mid-nod and I know that the next words that come out of that face will be a confident, “We’ll get ‘er done.” And they do.

Since day one on the job I have been nothing but amazed at what roughnecks can accomplish. And you know me, I thought I had seen mountains move while serving in the Air Force. So that got me thinking. Who is more capable? Pilots or roughnecks?

It hardly seemed a fair comparison at first, what with pilots winning wars in hours and making ladies swoon by simply getting dressed in the morning and all; but the more I witnessed roughnecks at work, the more I thought back to a lot of pilots I knew that might not make the cut as a roughneck–I know most days I fall short.

Here’s the thing. I love that I get to say that I’ve done both–love it. But there’s something else. The other day I brought the paperback copy of this blog to the rig to prove to the fellas that it existed. Now, these men are not Luddites, so they’d read the posts about them. But one of them, you’ll read about him soon, was very excited to share the stories with a man who didn’t know about the blog. And so this young man started to read aloud in the change house (locker room). I had to hold back tears of joy. The pilots that are reading know why. Most of you know why. And that makes pilots more capable. But hey, even if I’m wrong and roughnecks actually are more capable, I still win. I love that type of competition.