Thursday, January 30, 2003


The German government�s anti-American rhetoric is begining to hurt German exports to the United States. Hooray! About time. Why people think they can be insulting to Americans without Americans getting annoyed I do not know. Americans are very forgiving but nobody is infinitely so. And the critics think THEY are good-mannered. They could learn a lot about courtesy from the very Americans that they knock as being �cowboys�.



The doctrine of predestination is associated with Protestant pioneer John Calvin of Geneva. Luther throught that your salvation depended on your faith. Calvin thought that your salvation depended on your being chosen by God. In Britain, the Scottish Presbyterians were the main enthusiasts for Calvinism but the doctrine was widely influential among early Protestants and even the 39 �Articles of Religion� of the Church of England (issued in 1571) include a version of it. Article 17 says:

Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind ......

But it would seem that the doctrine has now not been heard from the pulpits of ANY mainstream church for many years.

Interestingly, however, I was brought up in a family with Presbyterian loyalties (though with no great religious committment) and throughout my family predestination was constantly invoked during my childhood. I can vividly recall my Aunt Maude and others saying things like: �It was all planned out before we were born, John� and �It was meant to be�. And I have noted similar sentiments coming from others I know with a similar background.

So what it all shows is the persistence of culture. With absolutely no support from the pulpit, old docrines and beliefs live on not as dogmas but as customary beliefs and family traditions. So to dismiss the importance of culture and tradition is to miss a large part of what goes on in the lives of people.



I posted yesterday an email from a reader that claimed that Christianity was oppressive rather than being a fountain of individual liberties. One of my Christian readers has now responded with a spirited defence of the Christian contribution to liberty. See the latest post here.



I have Tim Gillin to thank for this fun story:

Apparently, flag burning in the UK is a "hate crime" if "directed against minorities". Americans are a minority in the UK and some Leftists seem to have forgotten this -- and have spent time in prison for defacing the American flag! How cruel to take the Leftists� favourite pastime away! How will they express themselves now?

See here.



Always Right does a good appreciation of the State of the Union Address.

Michael Darby posts on the implications for Australia of the State of the Union address.

I have been thinking about Bill Whittle. Just a few posts seem to have made him the blogosphere�s favourite conservative. Why? I think it is because Bill really is the decent and caring person that Leftists only pretend to be.

Orrin Judd rightly gloats: Life holds no more beautiful prospect than that of Germany and France isolated from the rest of the West and stuck with only each other. And just that is happening!

It seems that you have to be married to a lawyer to get justice in Britain. Disgraceful cases of government incompetence like this are the one thing that makes me opposed to the death penalty.

Chris Brand thinks that directionlessness is a central problem for modern-day liberalism.

Famous Lefty philosopher and advocate of equality John Rawls has a son who is a libertarian!. (Via Stew)

Postcards from Prison is a fun site.

The Wicked one points out that, unlike politicians, the Queen will not cost the taxpayer a cent in superannuation payments.

Babette Francis points out that Leftist discrimination against men can end up hurting the women it is supposed to help.

Prof. Bunyip describes this site as �Rapist�s wife�. It made me ill anyway.

The Australian Libertarian Society seems to be Canberra-based. A bit ironical seeing that the main industry of Canberra is government! Maybe the nearer you get to government the more you can see its flaws.

You Big Mouth You has lots of good stuff -- from Feminazis to Greenpeace to the Norwegian airforce.

Right-Thinking looks at a tragedy and has some good sarcasm about the uselessness of gun-control laws.

Astounding! A Boston schoolteacher got her students to read books rather than watch TV so the Principal of the school insisted that they MUST watch the TV! (Via Country Store). Bring on vouchers!


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