Sunday, October 28, 2007

Christian Voting Responsibilities

The following paragraph (sentences separated for readibility) is from Messiah the Prince or, The Mediatorial Dominion of Jesus Christ by William Symington, D.D., 1884 Edition, Chapter VIII The Mediatorial Dominion Over the Nations, Part Three: Moral and Religious Qualifications:

"But is it to be supposed that the people, who are invested with the right of election, are left without all control in the exercise of this right; that they are at liberty, acting from mere prejudice, self-interest, or caprice, to choose whom they will; and that the objects of their choice are forthwith, in consequence of being so chosen, invested with lawful and indisputable authority?

So far from this being the case, the people are bound to use their elective power discreetly and wisely; they are under obligation to fix upon men posessed of qualifications fitting them for office; nor are they themselves constituted the sole judges of what these qualifications may be.

God has given them in his Word a supreme rule of direction, in which the character of civil rulers is described, and only such as seem to them to be posessed of this character are they at liberty to appoint.

If the people were under no restriction of this nature, it is fearful to think of the consequences that would ensue.

As the power of the magistrate is not an absolute power which he is at liberty to employ as he chooses, so neither is the right of the elector an absolute right which he is at liberty to exercise as he chooses.

Both the one and the other are placed under the limiting control of the Divine Law; and it is only when they are used according to this law that they are used aright."

Friday, October 19, 2007

Send in the Clones

In the latter months of 2001, a Massachusetts biotech company announced that they had made some major breakthroughs in human cloning. I wrote the following song parody in response:

Send in the Clones

- with profuse apologies to Stephen Sondheim

Inspired by an Associated Press wire story.
Dedicated to Advanced Cell Technology of Worchester, Mass.

Why aren't we rich,
Duplicating human hair?
Xeroxed hearts, kidneys, and such,
God and ethics, who cares?
But where are the clones?
There ought to be clones.
Send in the clones.

The pope, he did hiss.
Some in Congress approve,
Of making human stem cells,
In a sterile test tube.
But where are the clones?
There ought to be clones.
Send in the clones.

Hey there Ms. Donor,
eggs, we want yours.
Cumulus skin cell in your egg cell,
the DNA no longer yours.
Call it therapeutic my dear,
so you no longer care,
That it was part of you,
but is now just a spare.

Huxley's no longer a farce.
In less than a year,
We'll wear 'em down calling them names.
They'll back down from fear.
But where are the clones?
There ought to be clones.
Don't bother, they're here.

Now we'll get rich.
The Brave New World is here.
What a way to create,
a lucrative career?
But where are the clones?
There ought to be clones,
Just wait 'till next year.

© 2001 - RBW - permission granted only to reproduce parody
song in its entirety including song title and this statement.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Psalm 12 and the Minnesota National Guard

An article from describes the return home of 2600 Minnesota National Guard troops from the longest combat deployment of any unit so far during the current war in Iraq.

So, how long was their deployment? It seems that the official deployment orders for 1161 of the 2600 was for 729 days, one day short of that required for these soldiers to receive the G.I Bill educational benefits of $500 to $800 per month they were promised as part of the compensation for spending two years of their lives in harm's way.

Senior leadership at the Pentagon is being blamed for making this decision. Six House of Representatives members and Minnesota's two senators have asked the Secretary of the Army to look into the matter.

Regarding Psalm 12, Rev. Edwin Elliott today published a sermon outline on this psalm in He makes several points that apply to the people who made this crass decision that led to this betrayal of our troops:

I-A. People cease to be godly when faithful examples are unavailable; the hope is in turning to God. “To the chief Musician upon Sheminith, A Psalm of David. Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” (Psalm 12:1)

III-A. Unchecked wickedness brings the worst people to the surface and such people attract others of their kind. “The wicked walk on every side, when the vilest men are exalted.” (Psalm 12:8)

How can we expect our soldiers to bravely and selflessly offer their lives in defense of their nation when betrayal and falsehood are the examples set by their top leaders? Where were the leaders willing to risk their own position by standing up for the troops they command by questioning this decision in the very beginning?


Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on Earth...