Thursday, December 10, 2009

State and Federal

Our Federal politicians love to talk about how much they support education. They talk about all the money they want to throw at the states for special education projects. And the price for states that want to take that money is, they have to comply with certain Federal regulations.

But, per the Constitution (10th Amendment), education should be in the States' ballpark.

Want to take a wag at how much of the education money spent in Georgia comes from the Federal level?

3%. That's right. Just 3%.

Now, want to take a guess at how much of the overhead rules and regulations dropped on our teachers come from the Federal level?

90%.

That's right. A mere 3% of the state's education money comes from the Federal government. And the price for that is, 90% of the overhead our educators have to deal with.

At what point do we decide it's worth getting rid of the 3% to be free of the 90%?

Just a thought.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health Care and Spirituality

So one person gets a need fulfilled, and another person pays for it. If the payer is paying willingly, it's charity. Otherwise, it's theft for a noble cause. But the Bible doesn't say "Thou shalt not steal unless it's for a really good cause". It says "Thou shalt not steal." Sorry, sometimes the Bible is hard that way. What it means is that we have to save lives without stealing.

But let's ignore the theft aspect for a moment. Let's focus on charity. I like charity. Charitable actions bring a multitude of spiritual rewards, both for the gracious, generous, and loving giver, and for the humble receiver.

Throw government into the mix, on the other hand, and all spiritual rewards are lost. The givers (taxpayers) lose the chance to be lovingly and personally invested in the well-being of their fellow man, because the government's in the way. And the receivers lose any reason to be humble. Why offer up humble thanks for a government "right"?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Church and State

The purpose of the US Government, as envisioned by its founders, was to defend the people of the nation from foreign invasion and rebellion from within, and to govern the interactions between states.
The purpose of The Episcopal Church, as envisioned by its founders, was to defend the people of the nation from spiritual harm and false doctrine, and to govern the interactions between states.

In the US Government, laws are made and budgets are created by a bicameral legislative body known as the US Congress.
In The Episcopal Church, canon laws are made and budgets are created by a bicameral legislative body known as the General Convention.

The US Congress is over-weighted at the moment with ideological liberals. Conservatives are present, but do not have enough numbers to be effective.
The General Convention is over-weighted at the moment with ideological liberals. Conservatives are present, but do not have enough numbers to be effective.

The leaders of US Congress have decided that their calling is to redefine healthcare. Their goal is to provide "universal access". In their push to "save" healthcare, they will do far more damage than good. They have forgotten that people who can't afford healthcare need charity, not a false "insurance" with no accountability to the patient.
The leaders of The Episcopal Church have decided that their calling is to redefine marriage. Their goal is to provide "universal access". In their push to "save" marriage, they will do far more damage than good. They have forgotten that people who live in a "gay" lifestyle need a message of repentance and spiritual healing, not a false marriage with no spiritual reality.

The President of the United States is working to increase the power of the Federal Government, and especially his office, taking power and autonomy away from the states, and ignoring all boundaries set by tradition and the Constitution and Laws of the land.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is working to increase the power of the National Episcopal Church, and especially her office, taking power and autonomy away from the dioceses, and ignoring all boundaries set by tradition and the Constitution and Canons of the church.

How am I doing so far? Anyone care to add?

Friday, June 26, 2009

ACNA: Thick and Thin, High and Low

The Anglican Church in North America has just been born. Hallelujiah!


How many wonderful ironies can I find? The news headlines are full of talk about us as "breakaway Episcopalians"... but it is the Episcopal Church that has been generally breaking away from Christianity. We are called "schismatics", but in reality, this is a drawing together of groups that have been splintered by history and circumstance. I'd even call it an "un-schism".

And then there are those crying "doom" over the new union even as it begins.

See, you've got the group called Anglo-catholics. Solemn services, smells and bells, organs and traditional choirs. And you've got the group called Evangelicals. This crowd is known for praise songs, praise bands, and generally letting the worship carry them away, if that's how the Spirit moves them.

The "deal-breaker", according to the naysayers, is that these two groups disagree over the theology of Women's Ordination. And yes, that's a big thing. But as Archbishop Duncan has pointed out, "The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing." The Main Thing, for both of these groups, is Christ, of course. But if we only look at what distinguishes each group from the other, is "WO" even on the list of "main things"?

Here's another irony for you:

In the Evangelical "Low Churches",you can experience the heights to which the Spirit can lift the soul. Miracles are worked, and Heaven is praised. The Lord is truly there.

In the Anglo-Catholic "High Churches", you can find the depths of meaning, rich symbols and eternal metaphysical truths, ancient rituals, rich thoughts, and contemplations that will blow your mind. The Lord is truly there.

I remember a C.S. Lewis essay in which he wrote that, in history, religions can be generally divided up (with few exceptions) into "thick" and "thin", the sensation-filled religions on the one side with sacrifices and feasts, and the ascetic religions on the other side, with self-discipline and philosophy. He wrote that God created both mind and stomach, and feeds both.

Having been raised somewhat on the "Anglo-catholic" side of things, I've found my life enriched by experiencing my wife's Evangelical (Black Missionary Baptist) world. And I know at least a few Baptists who have found the richness in Catholic ritual.

The bottom line is, we need to seek first how we can love and enrich each other, and be enriched by each other. After that, my hunch is that the "controversial" issues will be worked out by the Lord. It's His church, after all, if we place ourselves in His hands.

In conclusion, I present the most uplifting video I have seen this week, from BabyBlue, a blogger from one of the CANA churches in Virginia:


Sunday, June 7, 2009

Daniel Dreams of Lions

I had a dream last night. It was at my church, during the worship service. (Anglican, BCP 1928, if that helps set the scene.) We were all singing praise music, as joyfully as you can imagine. And we were dancing with lions. Fully-grown lions, in the church, playfully dancing.

And no, I hadn't been reading or watching any Narnia lately.

It's been a while since I journaled or blogged or anything. It's been a long time since I've really followed either Slashdot or LiveJournal. But I've had some thoughts lately that I'd like to shape by putting them into words.

So, as I start out this new writing, let me say:
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)