Thinking Out Loud

December 14, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Christmas List Lynx

Here’s this week’s list; remember to have your suggestions in by 8:00 PM on Mondays to make sure that they get considered.

  • North Point Community Church’s “Be Rich” campaign breaks all previous records for giving to local charities as reported at CBS News Atlanta.
  • For those of you who missed the last decade completely, the BBC re-traces the history of the WWJD slogan in light of its re-emergence in the Occupy Protests.
  • This week’s top music video release introduces recent Nashville resident, singer-songwriter Jesse Santoyo.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling means the end of churches meeting in schools in New York City and eventually, beyond.
  • Vital question for worship leaders — and others — at Zac Hicks’ blog: Is the Lord’s Supper a Funeral or a Feast? s
  • Churches in Santa Monica, California are almost completely shut out of the 21 spaces where they normally erect nativity scenes because of strategic planning by atheist groups.
  • If you’re into Bible translation issues, here are three academic presentations on video by NIV, ESV and HCSB representatives, and a Q&A and response video with all three, from Liberty University’s Bible Translation Symposium.
  • Lost files found: This has been bookmarked in my computer since February; it’s a short article by a Minneapolis author, Tyler Blanski who has a book with Zondervan forthcoming later in 2012.  This deals with rethinking sexuality or you could check out his blog.
  • Lost files found #2: Another February flashback, Perry Noble asks if there’s anything you’re holding on to that God wants you to let go.
  • From our Pastor True Confessions Department, Kevin Rogers gives his personal reasons for not practicing the spiritual discipline of fasting.
  • Video recently posted, but apparently dating back to 1989, here’s a cultural artifact guaranteed to make you smile. Or something.
  • A Kentucky pastor reports he has canceled a church vote banning interracial couples. But you get the impression this fight ain’t over.
  • This video is from last year, and we may have linked to it then, but I needed something seasonal, right? Enjoy The Digital Story of the Nativity.
  • Mark Galli says there’s a need right now for more chaplains and fewer leaders. Sample: “We find ourselves in an odd period of church history when many people have become so used to large, impersonal institutions that they want that in their church as well.” This discussion really swims against the current.
  • Another Christianity Today item: Anthony D. Baker surveys what’s going on in church life, particularly as it affects our children, and finds us doing all manner of things except actually teaching the gospel.
  • First there was Rachel Held Evans’ 2010 list of 13 things that make her “…A Lousy Evangelical,”  and now it’s Michael Camp’s 31 reasons why he “…Left Evangelicalism and Became a Progressive, Not a Liberal.”
  • Big Bang Theory Department: Scientists working at the Large Hadron Collider believe they have confirmed the existence of The God Particle.
  • Ever been in a group of people where someone outside the circle only asks the husbands the “What do you do for a living?” question? Michelle Garred guests at Eugene Cho‘s blog.
  • Sadly for some, this time of year is just an excuse to drink, even if they do so in the name of remembering ‘the reason for the season’ as this advent calendar found at Ironic Catholic indicates:

October 12, 2010

Police Acting as Agents of the State

To Canadians, especially those in the country’s most populous province, Ontario, the name Michael Coren is well respected.   The conservative radio talk show host also hosts a weekday television program, writes a weekly column for The Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, and is the author of several books, including a biography of C. S. Lewis.

His most recent column, published on Saturday (9/10) re-posted below, is one of many that may be found in his page at The Toronto Sun.   (The nearly 200 comments to date on this one indicate the size of his national following.)


In Ottawa [last] week, police arrested five university students for displaying a pro-life exhibition.

They were peaceful and merely expressing an opinion and showing the realities of abortion.

In Toronto at the same time, the trial began of a man arrested and charged by police for defending his store against a career criminal with a mass of convictions. The drug-dealing crook was offered a reduced sentence if he would help their case against the model citizen of a store-owner.

The inescapable conclusion is while the police in this country are supposed to be guardians of the people, they are increasingly becoming agents of the state.

That they are political, or at least obey political masters, is surely now beyond dispute. Notice how they repeatedly refused to arrest or charge violent native protesters in Caledonia, Ont., even after there was filmed evidence of some of the demonstrators attacking people and destroying property.

Such refusal to apply the law when sensitive or controversial politics is involved is now common in Canada.

Less violent but similarly illegal is the phenomenon of men taking their clothes off and strolling around downtown Toronto during the Gay Pride Parade, sometimes simulating sex acts or participating in the real thing. Those who complain have been ignored, or even threatened with arrest themselves.

What happened at Carleton University with a group of young people with a social conscience, however, is extraordinary. They were hurting, and have hurt nobody. They were not demanding special privileges or grants. They were not insulting people, not even raising their voices. What they were displaying was a visual argument that the slaughter of the unborn is akin to genocide.

If you don’t agree with them, do what social conservatives have been told to do for decades every time they complain about pornography on TV or obscene behavior. Turn away. Don’t look. Ignore it.

Odd how when more conservative individuals are offended, they’re called prudes and told to grow up or ignore what they see, yet when allegedly liberal types are upset, the result is often police intervention and hours spent in a cell.

In Colorado, at the moment, a picture of Jesus Christ taking part in an obscene sex act is on show at a gallery that receives public funding. The museum, the artist and the funding have all been defended by some of the same people who have called for the arrest of activists from the American branch of the movement that participated in the pro-life display in Ottawa.

Last weekend in Toronto, a city-wide art show, backed by hundreds of thousands of tax dollars featured, among other things, two women posing naked for more than 24 hours. Parents with children were not warned before they entered the room and some complained. They were told not to have “such closed minds.”

Actually, their minds were not closed, but their hearts were open. There is a major difference between having an open mind and an empty one, and there is something repugnant about hypocrisy, particularly when it is backed by police muscle and a legal system that prefers political fashion to the absolutes of the law.

December 9, 2008

N. T. Wright Interview Banned in Canada by Comedy Central; But Why?

Filed under: Christianity, internet, theology — Tags: , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:52 pm

nt_wrightOn December 19th it will be six months after the fact that The Colbert Report on Comedy Central did an interview with author and theologian N. T. Wright.

Comedy Central video content is not available on the internet to viewers outside the U.S.A.  Their server senses my ISP domain, and refers me to their Canadian equivalent, The Comedy Network, which has Colbert interviews available, but doesn’t think that anyone in what is basically a pagan nation would want to watch the N. T. Wright clip.

Nonetheless, I keep hearing about this interview, and therefore I am begging, pleading, imploring anyone in the United States who has the means to do so to send me even the audio of this interview. see update…

BTW, Comedy Central isn’t the only one.   All those “bonus features” that NBC offers U.S. viewers are also prevented from being screened on computers outside the U.S.   Why?  You tell me.   But I’m thinking of giving up watching The Office because it’s just too darned frustrating.   Especially when the newer features are direct plot tie-ins.

So please, anyone, an audio wave file would be fine; I don’t need to see the pictures…  You can mail me a cassette…  An eight-track…   Cut me a vinyl disc…  And if anyone from Comedy Central is reading this; feel free to offer an explanation but it better be believable…

[and no, it’s not on YouTube…]

Update:  Well, once the rant was officially published, I went back to The Comedy Network to shut the window down, and discovered the section “Interviews: W” seemed to have loaded more options.   I scrolled down and there it was.   Six months later, I was finally rewarded with seeing this strange appearance by a theologian on a comedy show.   (What’s next, Ben Witherington on Conan O’Brien?)   But halfway through, the thing crashed.

It had been lagging constantly and so I decided to go back to the beginning and give the buffering time to catch up.   Bad move.   I offended it.     It was playing in a Firefox viewer, not a standard web page, so I couldn’t refresh the page.

At this writing, I’m trying to start the entire process from scratch.  I guess it was too good to be true.

UPDATE # 2 — Absolute desperation has been rewarded.   Fifty five minutes after reaching the peak of frustration, I have finally seen this much-talked-about six minutes and two seconds of interview.   Why N. T. Wright agreed to play straight man on this eludes me, but Colbert’s home television audience is deserving of someone of Wright’s intellect, even if the live studio audience was a little giddy.  His comments on “new earth” certainly gel with the Randy Alcorn material I blogged about this summer.  So… Should it have taken six months to finally track this down?   Should it have taken fifteen minutes to watch six minutes of video on high speed internet?   That’s up to someone else to decide.   I won’t be visiting The Colbert Report again.   Too much anticipation for too little actual content.

FOOTNOTE:  Thanks to those of you who were busy putting a care package together for me.   My problem was resolved with the Canadian Comedy Network; but what of people in Australia, or New Zealand, or the U.K. who would want to view this?

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