Archive for April, 2006


New Bill O’Reilly Reciprocal Mutual Fund

April 27, 2006

Here is a comment from a website dedicated to how much they can’t stand Bill O’Reilly. I am not at their level of contempt and vitriole, but I can honestly say that his grandstanding and lack of moral fiber (and his willingness to point out everyone else’s moral failures) puts him in the same dubious category as Rush Limbaugh in terms of how credible I find him. As in, not at all.

That is why I buy into this idea: Starting a mutual fund that invests in all the companies that Bill O’Reilly has proposed we, as the American buying public, boycott. Here is their assessment:

There are no certainties in life, and we’re certainly not qualified to give financial advice, but so
far Bill’s been pretty close to a perfect reverse barometer. If we had the capital and the clout,
we might consider launching a new mutual fund featuring the stocks of companies Bill has
strenuously warned his viewers against. We’re guessing we’d get our own Forbes cover in
about two weeks.

What our country needs are new innovative ways to call attention to things that we find offensive and distasteful. Protests, boycotts, email and mail campaigns (anyone remember snail mail…apparently no one, from the looks of my mailbox) are hugely ineffective.

The other day, I received THREE separate messages entreating me to sign a petition to protest the effort to remove “Touched By An Angel” from the airwaves because it mentioned God too much. It used a fictitious petitition supposedly put together by now-dead atheist Madeleine Murray-O’Hair to remove religious broadcasting from the airwaves. Every few weeks, I get another one of these petititions. First of all, there never was a petitition by O’Hair. Second, she died in 1995. Third, CBS never removed “Touched By An Angel”…the production company stopped producing it and no one wanted to pick it up. Fourth, even if all of this had happened, the petititions wouldn’t bother anyone unless there were forty million names on there. No one reads petititions. Would someone please check out one of the Internet Hoax sites before sending me another “petition that will change our country forever.”

More is changed when someone sets a good example than when they put on some meaningless protest. Today’s protests are only used by the media to argue over how many people were actually there. No one remembers them. Certainly not this one, even though it made the front page of the Bee. Do you think that changed anything?


Gregory House, Reformed Theologian

April 19, 2006

My wife and I watch two shows a week consistently (not counting the Kings basketball games) and we do this because of the intensity and good writing. The first is a no-brainer. We love “24” and can’t get enough of it, regardless of how unrealistic and violent it can get. It shouldn’t be right for a Christian Pastor to like a character that is torturing someone every couple of hours, but its only one day a year, isn’t it? The other show we like is “House”. It’s a story about a doctor in a New England hospital who’s a total misanthrope, a cripple (he walks with a cane), addicted to pain pills and has very few ethical values. But he is also the best diagnostician anywhere. They give him cases that no one else can solve. He brow-beats his team into finding out some of the most bizarre diseases known to man.

Season 1 revealed Gregory House’s character, or lack of same. This season, we see more of the lack of character in the rest of the human race. If I could summarize House’s philosophy of life in three easy points, it would look like this:

1. Everyone lies
2. Being nice is just a kind of lie
3. Why is anyone surprised at numbers 1 and 2?

A family member watched it lately and left the room muttering to themselves about how absolutely heathen the show was and how they didn’t want to wallow in such negativity all the time. I spoke up and disagreed vehemently. House would make a good Reformed Theologian…if he wasn’t an atheist, if he cared to believe in anything but himself…for he does have a great reformed view on mankind.

Reformed theology, a movement that was refined in the 18th century by John Calvin, believes in the Depravity of Man. In essence, this teaching holds that all men are rotten to the core. It leaves room for no exceptions, no gradations of depravity and no self-improvement. The reformed believer would heartily agree with House that everyone lies. They would say it is in the nature of man, born into a sinful condition, to lie. They would say that even when people are being nice, it is a type of lie, albeit an easier one to live with.

What House and Calvin recognize is a difference between meaning and action. Today’s culture likes to judge an action by what happened. Reformed understanding likes to judge an action by its meaning. For instance: In the last episode of House, a young lesbian couple is torn apart because one of them has a destroyed liver and is dying quickly. No one knows what is destroying her liver, but she needs a transplant, or they will never find out. Her partner wants to give her half of her liver…a liver to her lover, so to speak, a play on the Paul Simon song, “50 ways to Love your Liver”…but there is a problem. The dying girl is planning on leaving her girlfriend as soon as she is healthy. Does she tell her so she can make an informed decision? Dr. House won’t let her and the operation is done. At the end, one of House’s staff, Dr. Cameron is talking with the girl who gave the liver and finds out she knew all along that her girlfriend was planning on leaving. “Why did you go ahead with the operation”, Cameron asks. “Because now she can’t possibly leave, can she?”

This overwhelms the hopelessly humanistic and positive Cameron. She had defended the donor because she was certain this girl had only altruistic motives. In the end, everyone in the show lies, and the only ones who get any credit are those who admit they are liars.

Reformed theology would say that even though the girl did a good deed by donating her liver, the moral value of it is negated because it is based upon a selfish ambition. They would then recognize that no one, outside of the work of the Holy Spirit, does anything with a pure motive. House would wholeheartedly agree…except for the Holy Spirit part.

John Calvin would watch “House” if he watched television at all.


April 11, 2006

This is my granddaughter Maci outside the
restaurant where we were eating a meal with them. She decided that the flower looked better in her hand than in the planter. Isn’t she a doll! Posted by Picasa


Exercise that Immune System

April 5, 2006

God has created the most amazing system for dealing with the germs that surround us. It is called the “Immune System” and it functions autonomically….that is, it goes on without our having to decide to employ it. At least, that is how it is supposed to function. The brigade of leucocytes, T-cells and white blood cells all wait their opportunity to attack and fight off the bacteria, viruses and anything else that wants to share our bodies with us. They aren’t afraid of these things: they literally live to take care of these problems.

So what have we done? We have developed so many ways to avoid germs that our immune systems get weak from underuse. Or so says this article on CNN’s website. The article talks about the advantages of allowing little children to “get down and messy” on the floors and regular walkways of life, not always sanitizing everything to keep them healthy. Here is a snippet:

Now some immunology experts are beginning to agree that germs that many parents bleach and disinfect out of existence might help children.

“Hygiene hypothesis” holds that when babies are exposed to germs, it helps them fight allergies and asthma later.

The prevalence of allergies has increased substantially in the past 15 years, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and some experts believe that too much cleanliness might be a contributing factor.

Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief of allergy and immunology at the Medical College of Georgia, found in a study that babies in households with multiple pets have fewer allergies at age 6 or 7 not just to animals, but also to ragweed, grass and dust mites.

I can concur with these theories. The people I know who are most paranoid about their children being around germs have the sickest kids of anyone I know. And the pattern is completely consistent. Paranoid moms and dads = sick kids…almost always. Let the immune system do what it is designed to do, especially at a young age. We exercise our muscles and make them work so that when we need them, they will be there. The same is true of every part of our bodies…our minds, our heart, our lungs, our kidneys…the less you use each one, the less it will be able to perform when needed.

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