Mozilla reaps the whirlwind?

After the new Mozilla CEO, Brendan Eich, was forced out last week over his $1000 donation in 2008 to a group protecting marriage agains erosion by same sex “marriage,” users of the Mozilla’s web browser Firefox reacted in outrage by removing it from their computers and web-enabled devices. The firestorm of anger at Mozilla that kicked off late last week kept burning through the weekend, according to the organization’s own stats. Here are the feedback trends for the last 90 days, with “sad” comments in red and “happy” comments in green:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 90 days

Here’s a closer look at the last seven days:

Mozilla customer comments in the last 7 days

If this user revolt maintains momentum through this week, Mozilla may face a serious drop in its share of the very competitive web browser and e-mail market. I truly hope the backlash against Soviet-like mob action continues long enough to permanently cripple Mozilla. Corporate boards need to learn that caving in to a virtual lynch mob carries too high a price to bear.

So far, Mozilla’s strategy seems to be to hunker down and hope the firestorm fizzles. Don’t let it happen. Uninstall Mozilla products and let them know why.

I did.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-20

Nativity in stained glassIn those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luther's rose in stained glass

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

“Good Christian B****es” should surprise nobody

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’ ”

Brent Bozell points out the latest pop culture dumpster-swill to hit the TV, a show called GCB.

My reaction? Mostly yawns. This is to be expected from our brave, transgressive betters in Hollyweird. It’s always cool and titillating among their crowd to pick on Christians. We expect it, and tend not to fight back in any serious sense beyond withholding our financial support. Re-read the quote above, and you’ll understand why we often regard their disdain as an honor. Sinful and imperfect as we are, there’s also that whole Turn The Other Cheek thing to live up to.

I’ll give the secular progressives in the entertainment biz some credit for real courage if and when they ever take a similar swipe at muslims. Don’t hold your breath, though. That kind of thing tends to provoke a much more primitive and physical response from the targets.

I give GCB one season, tops.

The intolerance of progressive atheists

Here’s an interesting essay explaining a nonbelieving scientist’s perspective on religion in general.

Now that Bill Keller, America’s Grand Inquisitor, has declared open season on the religious faith of Republicans (but never Democrats), it is high time for a non-believing scientist to express my love and admiration for the great religious traditions.
progressive atheistsReligion is by far the greatest vehicle of civilization. It is how civilized morals and values have been taught from one generation to the next for the last 6,000 years of recorded history, and probably for 100,000 years before that. The reason is that humans are not homo sapiens, the wise hominid; we are homo fidelis, the believer.
Some of greatest gifts in life first appeared in religious garb. If you want proof, consider UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. UNESCO is not a religious bureaucracy. Among its nearly 1,000 World Heritage Sites there are natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. But when it comes to human-made sites, the great majority are religious monuments, temples, cathedrals, cave paintings, and many holy places. If UNESCO says so, even the New York Times has to believe it.
Strangely enough, there is not a single World Heritage Site dedicated to Karl Marx. The fearsome tombs of Lenin, Mao, and Marx all seem to be missing from the list. I wonder why.

Today’s crusading atheism is a fanatical cult that desperately needs to make converts, to silence its own inner qualms. Intolerance is progressive, see?

The idea of a permanent chasm between science and religion is a myth of the 20th century, peddled mainly by the left. It comes and goes in human history.

I’ve said for some time now that modern atheists are free riders on America’s Judeo-Christian culture and worldview, without which their existence would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. It’s nice to see one of the conservative ones acknowledge it.
Good luck with progressive atheists. They exhibit a very convenient amnesia.

Still looking for honesty from the VA

Almost a month ago I wrote a post about religious discrimination by the Department of Veterans Affairs against Christian prayer at the Houston National Cemetery. The VA’s Press Secretary, Josh Taylor, had the following to say about the controversy back on June 30th:

Invoking the name of God or Jesus is not only allowed, it is common at VA National Cemeteries across the country. However, VA’s policy is that VA-sponsored honor guards should not make recitations at committal services unless requested to do so by the deceased’s survivor(s).

Today, Taylor doubled down:

Pinocchio“The idea that invoking the name of God or Jesus is banned at VA national cemeteries is blatantly false,” said VA Press Secretary Josh Taylor in a written statement to Fox News Radio. “The truth is, VA’s policy protects veterans’ families’ rights to pray however they choose at our national cemeteries.”
 
Taylor declined to comment on the pending lawsuit or other ongoing legal proceedings, but did say, “No one should make judgments before all the facts are known.”

But Taylor said the rules set in place at the cemetery are meant to protect the grieving families.
“Put simply, VA policy puts the wishes of the veteran’s family above all else on the day it matters most – the day they pay their final respects to their loved ones,” Taylor said. “Out of respect for the families, VA’s policy exists to prevent anyone from disrespecting or interfering with a veteran’s private committal service.”

Veterans’ cemetery director censors Christian prayer

Shut up.For years Pastor Scott Rainey has participated in a Memorial Day prayer service at the Houston National Cemetery, which is administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Rainey has always prayed in the name of Jesus Christ, which should be no surprise coming from a Christian pastor. After all, Buddhist priests offer Buddhist prayers, Muslim imams offer Muslim prayers, and [insert faith here] clergymen offer [insert faith here] prayers.
As the 2011 Memorial Day prayer service approached, one of the event’s organizers invited Rainey to deliver a prayer as usual. But this year the cemetery’s director, Chicago native Arleen Ocasio, decided to stick her nose into the prayer service. She asked the organizer to forward Rainey’s prayer to her ahead of time for approval. The organizer, being a helpful sort of person, did so.
After reading Rainey’s prayer, Ocasio decided that she’d had just about enough of those icky Christians and their explicitly Christian prayers:

Harold Camping, con artist and false prophet

televangelists and t.v. preachersSo here we are. It’s 6 PM on May 21st, 2011, at the International Date Line. According to Harold Camping’s “prophetic” utterances, Jesus should be in the process of snatching away all of His followers in what’s known among certain Christians — and among many bizarre cults — as The Rapture.
According to Mr. Camping we should be feeling an earthquake of unprecedented intensity right about now, and a wave of mysterious human vanishings should be traveling westward from the mid-Pacific like some kind of rolling blackout.
Hmmm. I don’t feel, see, or hear anything. Do you? Maybe my clocks are all fast.
This isn’t the first time that a doomsday-preaching “man of faith” has claimed to have secret knowledge from God about the exact timing of the rapture. Do a quick search and you’ll find references from the nonviolent but briefly popular Millerites in the mid-1800s, to the truly twisted and violent Branch Davidians in 1993. There’s the infamous Aum Shinrikyo cult — now known as “Aleph” — which perpetrated Sarin gas attacks in Tokyo in 1995, as well as the tragically deluded Heaven’s Gate suicide cult in 1997.
Today, Harold Camping’s well-meaning and sincere followers stand ready with fervent faith to meet whichever messiah their leader claims to represent:

The Haddad children of Middletown, Md., have a lot on their minds: school projects, SATs, weekend parties. And parents who believe the earth will begin to self-destruct on Saturday.
The three teenagers have been struggling to make sense of their shifting world, which started changing nearly two years ago when their mother, Abby Haddad Carson, left her job as a nurse to “sound the trumpet” on mission trips with her husband, Robert, handing out tracts. They stopped working on their house and saving for college.
Last weekend, the family traveled to New York, the parents dragging their reluctant children through a Manhattan street fair in a final effort to spread the word.
“My mom has told me directly that I’m not going to get into heaven,” Grace Haddad, 16, said. “At first it was really upsetting, but it’s what she honestly believes.”

So far Camping’s followers seem more like the relatively harmless Millerites than any destructive or suicidal cult. At a minimum they’re in for disappointment and disillusionment. These people treat the purported end of the world frivolously and without an investor’s attitude of due diligence. You see, this isn’t the first time Mr. Camping has invited us all to play the Rapture Lotto.

Camping’s apparently a decent salesman. He’s managed to raise over $100 million from donations to buy billboard space in many major cities and on RVs rolling coast to coast. It’s unclear whether the billboards generated the income or vice versa … or maybe it’s both.
While this is all quite funny to most people, to Camping’s followers it will be a crushing let-down, one that will likely discourage them from faith in anything again. To Christians this is doubly bad because Camping’s foolishness will not only drive his followers away from trust in God, but his claim to be a Christian teacher of great authority will bring disrepute and ridicule upon the entire Christian faith in the eyes of the rest of the world. Non-Christians will look at Harold “I’m-A-Great-Christian-Leader” Camping and his pitiful cult of suckers, and they’ll assume that any Christians who aren’t deluded fools must be con artists.
Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, predicted that wolves like Harold Camping would sneak into the flock. We Christians are warned in the Bible again and again to be skeptical, to take what anyone preaches and compare it with Scripture, even if it comes from the an Apostle, a “spirit”, an angelno matter who makes a claim to authority. We are not to be gullible in matters of faith. God plays for keeps, and so should we.
Harold Camping is a fraud, a deceiver, a huckster, a fool, a false prophet, and a liar. His spectacularly awful excuse for “Christianity” should discourage nobody from examining the truth. God has a record of dealing harshly with false prophets, and that’s not going to change.
Here’s the straight scoop from Jesus on the subject of hucksters like Harold Camping.

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

We all owe an infinite debt, because none of us is righteous. Who can pay? The answer to the question has eternal implications.

Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

Did the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth actually happen?

Did Jesus actually die on the cross?

Perhaps William D. Edwards, MD, can shed some light on the question.
Crucifixion
We call today Good Friday because of the infinite good accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth through His physical death on the cross, as proven by His resurrection three days later.
I am eternally grateful that He paid the penalty for my sins once and for all, even though nobody (least of all me) deserves any mercy from God. I thank Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for saving my soul.
There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.

Merry Christmas!

Nativity in stained glassLuke 2:1-20
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Luther's rose in stained glassAnd there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

An excellent rebuttal to Hawking’s atheism

Stephen Hawking’s new book “The Grand Design” purports to show that the universe created itself from nothing (more detail here), thus eliminating the necessity for the existence of any divine and omnipotent Creator.

Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.

Unfortunately for Hawking, he instead proves that even brilliant physicists can commit glaring errors in logic.

Science cannot answer every question. Science is fundamentally unsuited to answering philosophical and theological questions, including any explanation for why there’s something rather than nothing. You’d have as much luck weighing a chicken with a yardstick.
As Parmenides argued, ex nihilo nihil fit … if you’re really starting with absolutely nothing, then nothing will ever be. There is no created thing which can create itself.

Video: Trailer for “The Dawn Treader”

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis were my absolute favorite books to read every summer while growing up, and “The Voyage of The Dawn Treader” is far and away the best book of the series (that’s not just my opinion, either). Along with spending time on our family’s boat on Lake Erie, I think this book had alot to do with sparking my fascination for the sea and with my decision to make the Coast Guard my first career.
To say I’m looking forward to this movie is like saying sea water is brackish.

Why do we call today “Good Friday?”

We call today Good Friday because of the infinite good accomplished by Jesus of Nazareth through His physical death on the cross, as proven by His resurrection three days later.
Crucifixion
I am eternally grateful that He paid the penalty for my sins once and for all, even though nobody (least of all me) deserves any mercy from God. I thank Jesus Christ, the Son of God, for saving my soul.
There is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.