Saturday, January 28, 2006

Uniqueness of Christianity

NOTE: I am post-dating this so that it remains at the top of the screen. Please scroll down for newer posts. --Jack 01/20/06

A Conference sponsored by St. Luke’s Reformed Episcopal Church:

The Uniqueness of Christianity: What the Christian Faith Has Given to the World that no Other Religion Has or Can

Saturday, January 28, 2006 9:30 am – 2:00 pm

1702 Fairhaven Avenue, Santa Ana, CA

(714) 992-2835

With the cry "Jesus Christ conquer!" the early Church shook the ancient world to its very foundations as no other religion could. The spread of its unique doctrines and sacramental life meant liberation from idolatry and the transformation of a world marked by dehumanization and violence into a civilization modeled upon the self-giving love of Christ.

We invite you to join us as we rediscover the uniqueness of Christianity with our esteemed guest speaker, The Rt. Rev. Ray Sutton, PhD.

Admission is free. Seating is limited. Please let us know if you are planning to join us by calling (714) 992-2835.

UPDATE: I would like to point out that both Pastorius and Jollyblogger (neither of whose blogging shoes I am worthy to unlatch) have posts that are very germane to this topic.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Better an Honest Enemy...

...Than a False Friend.

There has been much commentary regarding the Hamas victory in the Palestinian election. While I do not in any way rejoice at the ascendency of such a vicious regime, I am a bit surprised by all the, er, surprise. Much of the tragedy of the Middle-East has resulted from the West's refusal to take the Palestinians seriously when they said they longed for the destruction of Israel. Much of this refusal stems from a (perhaps laudable) inability to think so ill of an entire people. And also from a (less laudable) instinct to take the part of the underdog, without inquiring as to why the dog in question has come to such a low estate.

Countless excuses have been made for the Palestinians continued use of terror, but now they have run out of excuses. With the full support of the international community, and in free and open elections they have declared that they really are defined by a hatred of Jews that overrides all other concerns, even those of self-interest.

In the near term, the most obvious result of this political analog to suicide bombing will be the withdrawal of international support and funding which the Palestinians have long depended on but rarely acknowledged. The long-term prospect is not so predictable, but much turns on whether, as a people, the Palestinians are capable of coming to their senses before they are obliterated in a futile war with the West.

UPDATE: Sorry, I stupidly saved this as a draft! Here is a development which might show that the Palestinians are indeed coming to their senses. Considering the source is Al-Jazeera, I am taking this with a grain of salt. But maybe, just maybe, this is a good sign. (Via Pastorius, who is even less optimistic.)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Christopher Lee Praises Johnny Depp

In an otherwise forgettable Showbiz! article detailing some of Christopher Lee's recent work and public appearances, the formidable actor is quoted making some remarkable comments:

The only young actor Lee did find praise for was Johnny Depp.

The pair have co-starred together in three films, most recently Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Lee said: "The number one actor in the world as far as I'm concerned is Johnny Depp. He's not afraid of a challenge, he's not afraid of anything."
Now, Christopher Lee has been in the businesses of both acting and scaring people for quite a long time, so it is not a small thing for him to praise another actor's talent and courage.

(On a side note, Lee impressed me a great deal in his remarks on playing the role of Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. Evidently he is a long-time fan of Tolkien and considered it an honor to take the part -- a marked contrast to the attitude most big-name actors exhibit.)

I happen to agree that Mr. Depp is probably the best actor of his generation. I can't remember seeing him in a role I didn't like. And, though I suspect I would disagree with his politics, he seems to have had the sense to avoid the usual Hollywood grandstanding.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Are Rainforests Poisoning the Atmoshphere?

Greenhouse gas methane produced by living plants:

German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change. The culprits are plants. They produce about 10 to 30 percent of the annual methane found in the atmosphere, according to researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany.
Yet another reason not to sign the Kyoto protocol without much more scientific study.
(Via: Tammy Bruce)