Clearing the bookmarks

Here are several that I haven’t managed to read yet:

“Sunday Hijacker”

Squeegee Man is making a comeback, both in his traditional form – as documented by the New York Post – and in a new, mutant form: Sunday Hijacker. Sunday Hijacker is cleverer and more cynical than his predecessor, and his modus operandi is to make a scene inside a church during worship until somebody pays him to go away. Screaming, knocking over furnishings, and threatening violence are his shtick.”

It’s surprising that this is new. Then again, “make trouble until they pay me to go away” is a well established business model. Maybe bums doing it in church is new, but lawyers have been doing it in the court house for years.

Faith without works

or talk without action

Wilberforce and other Christian leaders of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries used moral argument and persuasion to get the British government to suppress slavery. The British government stopped slavery by force, using their navy to seize slave ships.

It’s unfortunate that Christian clergy in the west today would use their powers of moral suasion not to get the government to do something about Boko Haram raiding villages and taking slaves, but to prevent the government doing anything about it, at least anything that might work.

Because there’s just about only one thing that will work: hanging the slave takers, the slave sellers, and the slave buyers, and hanging them with a for-real rope when and where they’re caught, and taking all their money, and the money of anyone who does business with them. Now some well-meaning people would say that’s unreasonable, and they do have a point. The exigencies of the situation may require some slavers to be shot instead of hanged.

Christians should start with prayer, but not stop there. We should work for what we pray for. And yes, we should pray for the members of the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. We should pray they’re held to account for their evil sooner instead of later, and that they repent and turn to Jesus Christ.

Join the party

“How would you act politically – what kinds of arguments would you make, what kinds of laws would you support, what means of persuasion would you use – if you knew that those whom you most despise will at some point hold the reins of political power in your country?”

If your reaction would be ‘Let’s get them before they get us,’ there’s a political party for you.

UPDATE 30 April 2014: Charles Pergiel says we are already at that point, ruled by people we despise, though “despise” may be too strong a word for our feelings for the ruling class. It seems to me that it’s not too strong a word for the ruling class’s feelings toward us though. I’m pretty sure both Senator Boehner and President Obama despise people like me.

David armed

Italy’s culture minister stupified

The image of David, armed, offends and infringes the law. We will take action against the American company so that it immediately withdraws its campaign,” says Italy’s culture minister. But it is 2014. Maybe the culture minister doesn’t know the story:

David put his hand into the bag and took out a stone, hurled it with the sling, and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone embedded itself in his brow, and he fell on his face to the ground. Thus David triumphed over the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck the Philistine dead, and did it without a sword in his hand. Then David ran and stood over him; with the Philistine’s own sword which he drew from its sheath he killed him, and cut off his head. — 1 Samuel 17

Maybe the ad, from Armalite, does infringe the law. It might be in poor taste to use a great masterpiece to promote products. But to complain because in the ad David is holding a weapon (an Armalite AR-50) is simply stupid; very nearly offensively stupid. Michaelangelo’s David is always holding a weapon. He has a sling in his left hand, and a rock in his right.