Marriage is not a right

There’s this little debate going on about marriage in South Carolina today. Something about marriage rights.

I recently got married.

Really, I did.

I’m by no means an expert on this whole marriage thing, but I can tell you one thing: I didn’t have the right to get married.

This will sound asinine to many. Of course, I had the right to marry whoever I wanted. This is America. But that’s not how marriage works.

Marriage is not a right. Rights belong to individuals; marriage by definition must involve two people.

When I proposed to my now wife in April, she could have turned me down. When we asked our preacher if he would do the counseling and ceremony, he could have told us to take a hike or refused on grounds that we weren’t good for each other (That should happen more often.). The venues we used for said celebration could have been booked or not felt like having wedding related things that day or time. We could also have never been able to get to the county offices to get a license, and if we did, the judge could still have refused for various reasons.

Rights are also inalienable, regardless of what a government says. No one can rightly force you to adhere to a religion you don’t believe, nor can they rightly go through all your crap without cause. Rights aren’t dependent on what year it is or on getting a piece of paper from someone whose salary is derived from the forced redistribution of the citizenry’s incomes.

However, there are cases when one can have a marriage rightfully terminated, namely in the case of divorce over unrepentant adultery.

My wife didn’t have to assent to my marriage request. I couldn’t legally stop her if she left. I have no right to be married. If anything, I gave up rights in order to be married, because my marriage is ultimately not about me.

Let the record show that even as a theologically conservative Christian, I’ve gone this entire blog without bringing up biblical passages addressing the complimentarian nature of marriage, which would have made this blog easier.

Nevertheless, the point stands that marriage is not a right for anyone. It can rightfully be refused to you, and your feelings on a subject or biological rumblings don’t get to define what it is.

I’d like to know your reactions to this, but keep it civil.

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Would Pope Francis let the Mormons preach in the Vatican, too?

The theological and social liberals love Pope Francis. For some of the things, like owning up to some of Catholicism’s mistakes and taking a generally humble approach, they’re spot on. This is not one of those cases.

Francis is having Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the Vatican to “rekindle” peace talks between the two, which is fair. What’s insane to me is that Francis is allowing readings from the Koran and Islamic prayers in what amounts to the church building in which he pastors.

No word yet on if the Muslim gets to sit on the shiny throne.
The liberals will cry out about how great this is, but they clearly have no grasp about what Christianity is and what Islam is. The two are mutually exclusive, particularly in regards to the divinity of Jesus.
Imagine with me for a minute. How big would the outcry be if President Obama invited, say, Ted Cruz to speak at the Democratic National Convention? It would be enormous, because their ideas are mutually exclusive; you can’t have simultaneous have government expansion and contraction.
The same is for Islam and Christianity. Christianity says that Jesus is God and came to earth in order to fulfill the Law by living a perfect life and absorbing the wrath of God for those who would trust in him. Islam relegates Jesus to prophet status and says that Mohammed was the last and greatest prophet.
No matter what Mohammed or any Muslim says, these constructs don’t worship the same God. The characters and means of salvation are entirely different. They are very much polar opposites.
Which is why no one should have freaked out when Irish pastor James McConnell railed against Islam as “satanic,” “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell,” because that’s exactly what Christianity says it is.
Jesus himself claimed to be God in the flesh, he accepted worship as God and accepted the title of Lord over everything. He didn’t give you or anybody the option of saying he was just a good guy who was a prophet. If he was just a prophet and not God, then everything he said about himself was either gold plated narcissism or he was off his rocker.
The Bible goes on to say that any other claims about Jesus, whether it be a different gospel or saying he was just a dude or that he didn’t really come in human form, are the work of demonic forces and the advocate of said claims is going to be cast into hell (On a side note, there’s no reason that making a basic claim of what you believe should lead to a police investigation, as is the case with McConnell.).
But Francis, overly concerned with being “loving” and “social justice,” is allowing a false teacher to come in and spread what Jesus himself calls evil, that being that Islam relies on one’s own righteousness to become right with God.
Go ahead and mark this (and the Reformation) as the official beginning of the end of the Catholics. Bad theology has blinded their leader to the point where he thinks his job is to just help people get along, instead of pointing them directly to Jesus.
Catholics, feel free to start leaving in droves for greener, more theologically sound pastures.

I’m actually baffled that Donald Sterling was banned for life

Here are the facts: Donald Sterling is a douche. Donald Sterling has been a douche for a long time. Donald Sterling has now been banned for life and is likely to be force to sell his property because he’s a douche and other people don’t like it.

But a lot of people don’t understand the pure hypocrisy of the situation.

Sterling, a married man, was ratted out by his gold digging girlfriend known as V. Stiviano because he didn’t want her posting pictures with black people on Instagram.

#nomakeup #nofilter #butfirstletmetakeaselfie

In fairness, Sterling has been a known racist for pretty much as long as he’s been around. However, why is it that no one has ripped on Stiviano. Has our culture really grown so callous to sex that no one is going to say anything about the fact that the person who blew the whistle (and other things) had been screwing a married guy?

So the guy doesn’t like black people. Larry Johnson apparently doesn’t like white people, but no one banned him for life. Sterling is unfaithful to his wife, but the chick who recorded the conversation was helping him be unfaithful.

No one is innocent here.

Sarah Palin shows what’s wrong with Christian Americans and Republicans in one statement

If you didn’t already know it, Sarah Palin is kind of an idiot. But she proved that even further when she spoke at the NRA’s rally over the weekend.

[In full disclosure, I’m a heavy gun rights advocate and used to be a member of the NRA. That was before I realized they were really more into selling out for a couple of okay things instead of having any kind of integrity in their stances.]

After Palin said that good ol’ ‘Merica needs to be the “fear of God” into terrorists, she said that if she were in charge, everyone would know that “waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

That statement is just how much social religion has turned what used to be theologically awesome Christianity (see: Puritanism) into moralistic bullshit deism. It must be called such strong words because it’s such an offense to what she claims to represent.

When she says we need to put the “fear of God” into terrorists, she really means the “fear of ‘Merica,” because she’s bitten hook, line and sinker into the cult of ‘Merican idolatry.

Tack on a dispensationalist Star of David, and you don’t even know what team she’s on anymore.

That’s further evidenced by her desire to baptize terrorists via waterboarding. Who needs Jesus when you can kill those walking blasphemies?

Granted, I used to buy into the whole “kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out” mindset. And there’s definitely room killing a whole lot of them, especially if they’re actively attempting to kill us (Note: not with drones that kill innocents and not with undeclared pseudo-wars), but they’re still sinful humans in need of grace.

What Palin’s statement ultimately says is that she and we are inherently better than those Muhammad worshiping bastards, so let’s just send ’em on to hell. She has no understanding that she deserves to burn eternally just as much as they do.

I’m not getting all hippie pacifist here, because I believe there’s an appropriate time for killing people in defense, but isn’t this exactly the opposite of what Jesus meant when he told us to love and pray for our enemies? I’m pretty sure it is. I’m pretty we should be more eager to send missionaries and Bibles than cruise missiles and tanks to the Middle East. Obviously, that would mean we have to take the Gospel seriously.

“Sarah, you might want to read this sometime.”

Palin and most of ‘Merica obviously don’t care about actual baptism by water and Spirit; maybe that’s why so many people are hostile toward American Christianity. We’re more concerned with people acting nice than about the condition of their souls.

:Let’s hope she’s never in charge.

Everyone in the Bundy Ranch dilemma is wrong

Everyone in the country got all riled up last week over Clive Bundy, a Nevada cattle rancher who was being “pushed around” by the Bureau of Land Management until an armed militia group showed up and caused the BLM to leave.

What nobody tells you is that literally everyone in the situation is wrong. Let me explain.

For one, the BLM’s story at first was that they were charging Bundy a fee to use federally owned land. That’s fine. It’s their land. The stupidity over the land lies in that the Center for Biological Diversity is suing to protect an endangered tortoise.

“It’s cool. I wear all the protection I need.”

The other nugget of douchery by the government is that Harry Reid is partnering with a Chinese corporation in an attempt to takeover the land and use it for a solar farm. It’s also rife with reports of nepotism.

The government has also used a lot of intimidation and such, which isn’t exactly nice.

But Bundy has been a total asshole.

Reports are that Bundy stopped paying his range fees in 1993, citing that his family had been using that land for over 100 years, so he shouldn’t have to pay like everyone else. It should be an easy process.

Of course, it’s not that simple for Bundy, who comes from a long line of Mormons. Mormons are kind of notorious for basically saying they can do anything and the government can’t do anything about it. They’re actually kind of famous for being involved in scandals and for having some seriously jacked up theology (hint: They’re not Christians.).

Seriously. THEY HAVE MAGIC UNDERWEAR.

Here’s the issue: It’s not Bundy’s family’s land.

If someone owns land, they can do whatever they want with it. The government apparently owns this land, so they can charge people to use it. If you don’t pay, then you don’t get to use it.

This is perfectly analogous to me trying to live in a house and not trying to pay rent, because my family used to live in the house and didn’t pay rent. It’s not my house, so the landlord can rightfully kick me out.

But Bundy’s a Mormon, who also happens to be on Social Security and Medicare, so all you taxpayers can figure out where to stick it.

Fred Phelps kicked the bucket, but you missed the point

Infamous Westboro Baptist Church pastor Fred Phelps assumed room temperature today. Most people’s responses have generally been along the lines of, “Good,” “Rot in hell,” “He was a douche,” etc.

I’m not arguing that he wasn’t a douche.

Lost among the “God hates fags” signs, general assishness and media attention, however, is the fact that their very, very, very core theology is actually pretty solid Reformed theology. The problems arise when they start working out from the core and applying and communicating it.

You don’t say.

In fact, they actually made some good points. Allow me to explain before you take metaphorical and literal dumps on my doorstep.

1) Repentance is vital to the Christian life. – This often gets lost, especially in the mainstream/liberal Christian crowd. They’re not just ripping on gay people; they’re calling people to turn from sin and trust in Jesus. That’s a good thing. It’s all in the delivery, kind of like Aroldis Chapman (shameless plug).

2) America is a corrupt nation. – If you don’t believe that, you haven’t been paying attention for the last couple hundred years or so. We’ve endorsed treating people as property, cheating people out of their property, murdering babies, unjust wars, etc.

3) America will be destroyed sooner or later. – Before you go all GOD BLESS MERICA on me, just understand that we’re a nation full of corrupt people doing corrupt things in corrupt ways. It’s bound to happen one day.

4) People are inherently evil. – Yes, this partially goes back to the first point, but they actually do understand that God must do the regenerating. Salvation isn’t based on what we do, but we do choose to give God the finger and send ourselves to hell.

5) God is sovereign over every single event in human history. – God didn’t send someone to shoot up a school, but he had to allow it in order for it to happen.

6) God finds sin and the sinner hateful. – A lot of people trip over this. God is love, but he’s not all-loving. He can’t love sin, since it spits in his face. There really are verses in the Bible about God hating people, but we have to remember that his hate is different than our hate. Our hate creates bitterness, but God’s hatred of sin spawned his eternal plan to send Jesus as an atonement for our rebellion. Really, God’s hate is rooted in love.

7) God’s sovereign grace through Jesus is the only hope for anyone. – Believe it or not, this is actually what drives WBC. They claim their tactics have worked in bringing about repentance and trust in Jesus. If they believe it works, then of course they’re going to do what they do. They may act like a bunch of dicks, but they at least have the core message down: The only hope for anyone is in Jesus, but most of us are content to fart in his general direction while playing in our own filth.

Thank God for a dead Fred Phelps, if only so we can reorient the discussion.

Aroldis Chapman has self to blame for horrific injury

Last night, Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman was drilled in the face by a comeback line drive off the bat of Salvador Perez. The pitch was clocked at 99 miles per hour, meaning the ball was going something like 120 when it struck Chapman, leaving him with multiple facial fractures.

He had a bad time.

Here’s video of the event. It’s not exactly fun to watch, but it’s also not too gory.

What you’ll be hearing for the next several days is all about pitcher safety, whether it’s those ridiculous padded caps or facemasks or whatever. What you won’t hear today is anything regarding mechanics.

By that, I mean if you watch this Sport Science video, they stop analyzing Chapman’s mechanics after he releases the ball.

This is a huge problem in baseball right now. People are so obsessed with throwing 95 and more that they forget about putting themselves in a vulnerable position. For Chapman and others, this means facing the dugout and not being able to defend himself when his glove is on the outfield side of his body.

Contrast that with Greg Maddux’s mechanics, which practically turned him into an infielder after his delivery and allowed him to win like a million Gold Gloves.

And you can watch Tom Glavine do the same (and watch Bobby Cox get thrown out).

I’m not saying triple-digit velocity is bad, but these guys were pitchers. They thrived off location and knowing batters’ tendencies. They could barely break glass with a pitch but combined to win 660 games and are both being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year.

Hopefully, baseball can get over its fascination with everyone throwing hard and wake up before someone gets killed.