Pooh’s Think

… with comments

BREAKING NEWS! On Kinist Little Geneva

Did White Separatist Harry Seabrook Fake a Hack of His Own Website?

Matthew Chancey has the investigative report for you at mrs. binoculars.

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“On January 12, Kinism died—and not at the hands of a ‘hacker.’

Good riddance.” –Chancey

[added later – Pooh]

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Spread the news!

(Glinda)
Let the joyous news be spread
The wicked, old witch at last is dead

(Munchkins)
Ding-dong the witch is dead
Which old witch? The wicked witch
Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead
Wake up you sleepyhead
Rub your eyes, get out of bed
Wake up the wicked witch is dead
She’s gone where the goblins go
Below – below – below
Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low
Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead

(Mayor)
As mayor of the Munchkin City
In the county of the land of Oz
I welcome you most regally

(Judge)
But we’ve got to verify it legally
To see…

(Mayor)
To see…

(Judge)
If she…

(Mayor)
If she…

(Judge)
Is morally, ethically

(Munchkin 1)
Spiritually, physically

(Munchkin 2)
Positively, absolutely

(Munchkin Men)
Undeniably and reliably dead

(Coroner)
As Coroner , I thoroughly examined her
And she’s not only merely dead
She’s really most sincerely dead

(Mayor)
Then this is a day of independence for all the munchkins
And their descendants
Yes, let the joyous news be spread
The wicked old witch at last is dead

(Munchkins)
Ding-dong the witch is dead
Which old witch? The wicked witch
Ding-dong the wicked witch is dead
Wake up you sleepyhead
Rub your eyes, get out of bed
Wake up the wicked witch is dead
She’s gone where the goblins go
Below – below – below
Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low
Let them know the Wicked Witch is dead

Lyrics taken from here.

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January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

An Anthropologist on Narrative & Community

From Ochs & Capps’s “Narrating the Self,” Annu. Rev. Anthr opol. 1996. 25:19–43

Adherence to a dominant narrative is also community-building in that it presumes that each member ascribes to a common story. Reliance solely on a dominant narrative, however, may lead to oversimplification, stasis, and irreconcilable discrepancies between the story one has inculcated and one’s encounters in the world. As noted earlier, psychological disorders such as posttraumatic stress, depression, and anxiety involve silencing would-be narratives that deviate from the dominant story by which one lives (42, 43, 112, 115, 186, 215). Silencing is a product of internal and interactional forces in that a person may repress and suppress emotions and events, but these processes are linked to external circumstances, including others’ expectations and evaluations. Silencing takes many forms, most of which do not lead to severe psychopathology. Silencing is part of the fabric of culture in that it is critical to socializing prevailing ideologies. Assuming one’s expected place in society entails conforming to and telling stories that reinforce social order.

To varying degrees, the silencing of alternative stories is a form of linguistic oppression. Dominating stories that preserve the status quo can estrange and muffle alternative perspectives. In Morrison’s words, such stories can “sanction ignorance and preserve privilege.” She likened them to “a suit of armor, polished to shocking glitter, a husk from which the knight departed long ago…exciting reverence in schoolchildren, providing shelter for despots, summoning false memories of stability, harmony among the public” (161:14).

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2402 Itani, Moscow Idaho for Sale

You can see other work I’ve done here. The following pictures are of a house that is now sitting; it’s my favorite one so far. $289K; 1750 sq/ft; 3 beds/2 bath; cherry cabinets, oak floors; sile stone counter top (stronger than granite with no need for sealing); flat wall; travertine tile; upgraded stainless steel appliances; nice view; great location.

[pictures]

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Federal Vision Controversy

As we wait for adjudication from the PCA judges, FV apologists and moderates (and those young theology wonks without a better topic to pontificate over) are doing overtime trying to get their say into the world wide web. Given my understanding of this issue and my close experience with some of its origin, this would be one issue I would have analyzed to death if I thought it was at all worth my time. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is worth my time. There are many reasons I think this, and I’ll name a few of these reasons here.

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First, the judges of the PCA understand their task far better than the external critics on both sides; and I think the real questions before the court are clear. All the huff on the internet does not even make mention of these questions. Rather, you find political talk about Wilkins being “heretical,” and then the backlash of FV supports declaring the importance of ecumenicity and the non-heretical nature of Wilkins’ teaching. But this misses the point almost entirely. The judges are not adjudicating whether or not Wilkins is to be considered a “heretic.” They are rather adjudicating whether or not Wilkins’ teaching and intentions are consistent with the WCF as employed as a standard within the PCA’s tradition as governed by the BCO constitution. Ironically, Wilkins has aligned himself with one of the most schismatic groups on the planet as related to main reformed denominations (i.e. the CREC), and the role of the judges is to seek to suppress any further schismatic behavior from Wilkins if it be consistent with their constitutional documents and judicial tradition.

Second, the controversy centers around the system of theology as allegedly found within the WCF, a confession now used as a constitutional document within the PCA; one of the center-pieces of this theology is the WCF’s unique presentation of a post-reformation scholastic covenant theology. I have already spent a good deal of time laboring over the issue of this scholastic covenant theology, and I believe I have successfully rejected this scholastic covenant theology in its entirety while offering a more exegetically cogent, poetically sensitive, and philosophically sound alternative. I have arrived at this position through private work that scans the “covenant language” from Genesis to Revelation, through debate with Leithart, Wilson, and Ralph Smith, and through publishing a series of articles on the matter in Credenda Agenda. I have also sought challenge from numerous other reformed theologians. Since starting up my formal graduate studies, I have only found further confirmation of my position and I have not yet discovered an argument that mitigates my position or the arguments for this position. Since the entire FV debate assumes precisely what my thesis rejects, until theologians addressing the FV issues begin backing up and addressing their covenant theology in a more self-conscious manner (or are willing to address my challenges) I no longer have any use for their disputes over FV where they touch issues surrounding ‘covenant’—which is a good deal of the issues.

Third, and related to the first point, there is a great lack of coherence and respectability in the FV theology in so far as their concerns over the discrepancy between biblical language and theological language are never followed through honestly and cogently. Concerns of biblical language are stated in controversial ways, and yet there is very little follow through and helpful unpacking of these concerns once they have pricked schism and controversy. From the beginning I have understood my position as really nothing more than a carrying through of some of the more basic concerns of the FV position, as has been expressed well by Richard Lusk. The opponents of the other side, however, fail to understand or sympathize with any of the concerns expressed by FV thinkers, resulting in once again a theological production that is anemic.

Fourth, FV was started and gained momentum by a group of men who had subversive intentions. The rhetoric of Schlissel, the militant response from Wilson to initial concern, the disparaging of the PCA in general, and the almost complete disregard of the contemporary expression of the “reformed tradition” in favor of first generation reformed writings makes this clear enough. I was meeting with Doug Wilson once a week during the time that Wilson had made his subversive intentions clear. Wilson spoke about the “dirty diapers” of reformed theology from the pulpit and gave me a year’s writing for Credenda Agenda after I had explained that “I was not reformed.” One of the many dishonest dimensions I saw from Wilson that carved the path to the Wood was the clear waffling and change of tune on the FV issue once the heat became far greater than he anticipated. This change of tune was not that much different than what was seen in the slavery controversy, as illustrated here and as detailed by local historian William Ramsey here (these two resources are by no means exhaustive).

Fifth, and tightly related to the last point, I am at this point firmly convinced that 90% of the FV controversy is politics. Reformation, pure religion, piety, and truth have almost nothing to do with what is going on – a fact perhaps running with the norm of church history. The reformation of the 16 th century was no doubt political too, but it was to a good degree a moral reformation. This purely doctrinal “reformation” of the FV is really just an exhibition of the moral corruption on both sides. Wilson and Jones have rightly noted that it was the lax morality and anemic cultural fruit from reformed churches that gave their practical books an inside hook into the reformed tradition. Unfortunately, however, Wilson would use such hooks for just more of the dishonest maneuvering we saw as early as 1993. and as late as the fresh COTK scandal. There has been plenty written elsewhere about the corruption and political mindedness of Wilson, so I’ll cut this point short.

Sixth, look at the nature of the debates between FV supporters and opponents. As C.S. Lewis once said, there “is some death” in theology; if this is true, then what we have been seeing as the output from the FV controversy is the blackest darkness of religious thinking. The only interesting parts are where each side attempts to lynch the other side (e.g. Wilson’s dishonest attack on Professor Clarke). The doctrinal discussions proper are enough to make one go lock himself down in the basement of literature department and throw away the key—another monastic tradition is no doubt brewing. The results of FV have suffocated the original concerns that could have born much fruit. But since the point is the politics, neither side in the controversy could really care.

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I hope this is sufficient for explaining why I have had little concern over the content of these skirmishes over the last year—outside of the work already done with respect to the politically subversive actions of Wilson. Life is too short; the life of Doug Wilson is more interesting than this issue currently absorbing Wilson defenders and critics, and so I hope to stick to that topic when not engaged in my broader studies. I will just sit back and wait to see if the reformed tradition self-destructs; at the very least Brian McLaren’s predication has turned out true: the reformed tradition will be the first modernist splinter group to under go an identity crisis. I think this is in part precisely what we see.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Kirk Apologist on NJ’s Constitution

Kirk apologist Dale Courtney quotes a story from Reuters:

State weighs cutting “idiot” from constitution

New Jersey is to consider cutting the word ‘idiot’ from its constitution so that people with some mental disabilities won’t be barred from voting.

State Senate President Richard Codey introduced a bill on Monday that would remove language from the New Jersey constitution that was designed more than 150 years ago to prevent people suffering from mental illness or handicap from casting their vote in national, state or local elections.

Codey wants to eliminate a section that says “no idiot or insane person should enjoy the right of suffrage” and substitute with a reference to “a person who has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to understand the act of voting.”
Codey, a Democrat who was previously acting governor of New Jersey, said in a statement the term “idiot” is “outdated, vague, offensive to many and may be subject to misinterpretation.”

This is an interesting bill; certainly, removing the word “idiot” is a well motivated and warranted move. And by changing the criteria to a judicial determination of whether a person is “lacking capacity to understand the act of voting,” the law is made more precise. On the one hand, this criteria can cover a class broader than those who are “mentally ill” or lack cognitive abilities in general; and on the other hand, this criteria might be able to include some persons able to understand their right to vote who are otherwise classified as “mentally ill.” In so far as we can include those class of people we deem “mentally ill” who are able to rationally vote, we should. This reminds me of the high volume of forced sterilzation of idiots the state of California used to perform….

And sure enough, here is what Dale left out of the quote:

He said individuals with cognitive or emotional disabilities may be capable of making decisions in a voting booth, and those people should not be discriminated against.

“This is another big step toward removing the stigma of mental illness,” Codey said.

But I leave you with the interpretation of politicized, Kirk-defending, Republican-theonomist Dale:

Or in other words: “we want idiots and the insane to vote in our state.”

Guess who’s sponsoring this legislation? You got it: a Democrat.

We already know Dale willfully libels people without detraction under protest. So I wouldn’t read too much idiocy in Dale’s comment.

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ABC News, Quiver Full Movement, & Pooh’s Brains on Drugs

This post is due to my bad illness (Disney World germs and a few imprecatory prayers from Mother K knocked us out). I’m just trying to pass the time before the antibiotics kick in:

Doug Phillips linked to an ABC News interview of a friend, Ken Carpenter. You can watch the eight minute long news coverage here.

Phillips writes:

Ken is a tremendous man, a personal friend, and a featured speaker at the 2006 Christian Filmmakers Academy. . . I am grateful for his bold stand for the blessing of the fruit of the womb.

The Carpenters do indeed seem to be a nice family, a family no doubt Mary Wollstonecraft would have loved to loiter in the midst of, her heart throbbing with sympathetic emotion. However, the moral to this story goes a bit beyond this. Despite the protesting fear against the lying media from American fundamentalists, it would seem that the media has once again offered judicial restraint in their coverage.

Ken Carpenter represents the quiver full movement, and he explained to the reporter that he is the head of his home and where the buck stops, that he is the “primary distiller of wisdom,” that his sons would go to a university only if they are to pursue a particular profession, that his daughters are to be given to motherhood (when asked about higher education), and that any form of birth control or family planning is against “God’s word.” But here’s the kicker: Carpenter is apparently fairly wealthy and the large kitchen, dining, and estate was certainly good show for this “movement.”  Whatever deprivations his children will have due to his ‘righteous’ continuation of birthing will therefore certainly be mitigated (pregnancy, birthing, and weaning is one of the most physically and emotionally risky and draining experiences a household—and particularly a woman—can go through).  The Carpenters are likely not the prototypical quiver full family in this regard; ABC News has therefore covered this story with a keen sense of propriety, if not down right charitable distortion.

However, in order to take the spot light away from Phillips and his friend Carpenter, I should note that ABC did point to the Quiver Full web site; upon a quick glance, I noticed the following book as the site’s featured advertisement (I corrected the spelling errors):

Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors
Rachel Scott

A hard-hitting, scripturally based expose on the emotional, physical, and spiritual damage caused by the secular idea of birth control.

We are living in the last days. An anointed generation must come to earth to help prepare the way of the Lord. Many in this generation will be children. Will these chosen children be allowed to come? Satan is trying hard to prevent their conceptions and births. Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors exposes how Satan has used the secular idea of choice and modern medical advances to convince God’s people to limit their family size through birth control and sterilization. Sadly, thousands of couples are suffering emotionally, physically, and spiritually because they have chosen their own path. This book exposes how the enemy is using human reasoning, deception in the media, ideas in pop culture, and lack of knowledge of God’s Word to keep God’s people bound to a worldly mindset. Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors offers hope for restoration through God’s forgiveness. By revealing truth, it challenges young couples to learn from the mistakes of the past so they can be open to bring forth this anointed generation of children.
To order this book, visit www.superdupermoms.com

My friends will no doubt understand how thrilled I am about more fundamentalist talk about warfare.  Ay! Let’s raise up a new Christian Sparta!  Woman can become those noble factories of war feed.  Fight the high breeding infidel and the childless secularists with your hard won arrows!

You know, barbarians [not referencing the quiver full movement] have always been in the midst of the rise and fall of delicate civilizations since recorded history. I say let them breed and do what they will; the only hope for anything but another collapse of western civilization’s library roofs and the butchering of our learned men of peace (a thought that gains a good deal of clarity as I watch war-loving and fundamentalist “bar brawlers” like Douglas Wilson) is the successful maintenance of our developing global communication and education as well as the consciousness of our shared, universal narratives and emotions (Hogan 2003)—which help keeps in tack that natural empathy of our two year old “Warrior Children.”

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Narrative, Judicial Analogy, & The Problem of Evil

Another Rewrite:

Abstract:

Some philosophers—and the numbers are increasing—conclude that traditional logical and evidential approaches to the philosophical problem of evil are incapable of forcing a solution to problem of evil in life. However, building on the work of Stephen O’Leary, I argue that the traditional philosophical problem and the problem as found in life can be solved jointly by treating the problem of evil as a forensic rhetorical problem. To arrive at a solution to the problem of evil, the individual must be persuaded of the truth or falsity of the following proposition: An omnipotent, omniscient being would have no morally sufficient reason for allowing the nature and extent of evil that is in fact in the world. A solution to the philosophical problem of evil is therefore a philosophical explanation of how the problem of life can be solved for the individual, which I propose is found in the forensic nature and narrative structure of the images and rhetoric employed in persuading the individual of this proposition. As ancient tradition has it, God must be put on trial. Following the Story Model of cognitive science, the Narrative Theory employed by a U.S. Supreme court ruling, and recent proposals in analytic philosophy, I argue that it is only story that has the efficacy to force a sufficient verdict, to solve the problem of evil. I defend this judicial method from traditional appeals to the epistemological authority of God and recent arguments from theological skepticism about evil.

Continue reading

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pooh Loses His Patience: The Foundations of Justice

My comments to my pastor’s blog before getting the mistreatment and boot; November 27, 2005:

Ironically, when I first started [commenting] on this, I assumed McLaren WAS a heretic and I trusted your general assessment. When the line of argument and critique appeared so fallacious however, I began questioning this assumption. Since then, ALL evidence I have found on the web does vindicate the emergents; I have tried to present this evidence, but nobody seems interested in evidence—either direction. If I do find McLaren a Snake, I will actually raise the volume of my criticism of your criticism up a strong notch. . .

One more thing Mr. Wilson. Dare we hang somebody without a strong defense? Isn’t it best if somebody strongly defend McLaren precisely because we want to be able to justly condemn heretics? I have not defended McLaren as witness or old friend who knows him, but rather as a defense attorney who believes in ‘the system.’ But if we lynch him without any sort of fair trial whatsoever (in any sort of metaphorical sense), we are no better than the opponents of Machen or Macaroni and Cheese. I really do not understand why you have not presented lengthy citations illustrating just where you get your hatred of McLaren’s teaching; you rather build up a general postmodern straw man that I don’t even recognize as a contemporary reality in any part of the world.

Michael Metzler
pooh – 11/27/2005 11:17:44 PM | Report Comment

You can hear that chain saw starting about here. . .

January 15, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment