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Friday, November 11, 2005


The Most Comprehensive Reformation Site on the Web!

Holy Crap folks! I've found the coolest and most comprehensive site on the Reformation that I've ever seen! It's by a couple of guys from Xavier University of Louisiana. Here's a picture of Mark Gstohl at the Reformation Wall in Geneva. I'd sure like to meet that guy! Not only is he incredibly good looking, after looking through his site I'm convinced that he's got to be some kind of a genius or idiot savant!

Anyway, the site is called Theological Perspectives of the Reformation. It has the coolest chronology section I've ever seen. You can compare what's going on in particular movements such as the Magisterial Movement or the Catholic Movement.

Want to know information about the women of the Reformation? It's here! Want to see a poem about Martin Luther written by a Catholic woman? It's here!

Speaking of Luther. Want to read his 95 Theses? It's here!

There are even hymns of the Reformation on this site! Not only classics like A Mighty Fortress by Luther, but also lesser known hymns like Jesus Christ Our Blessed Savior by Jan Hus.

There are over 270 links and over 100 images taken by Dr. Gstohl on his trip to Europe a few years ago.

Still not enough? You're too picky! But, there is more! Information about over 100 people related to the Reformation. There are almost 30 works of the Reformation that are either supplied in their entirety or summarized. Want to know what John Calvin thought about Osiander? Who doesn't? There are quite a few examples of Reformer's critiques of each other. Some of them are quite amusing!

There's also a comparative theology table that shows what Reformers thought about such issues as the Eucharist, Baptism, Justification, etc.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I had no choice but to eat at McDonald's yesterday. Even on the Westbank there are limited choices. I watched SuperSize Me last week with Howie Jr. so I wasn't able to finish my Big N' Tasty (ever notice that if you drop the T the name is more fitting?).

Anyhow.....I saw two guys who looked really rough, and hot, and stinky that walked up to the door at McDonalds. They asked if they could go in to order their "meals." The nice lady smiled and said, "Sorry, only the drive through is open." They explained that they didn't have a car! "Sorry!"

My window was down in my van and I have no sense of smell so I invited them in. I told them that if McDonalds was taking credit cards that I would be glad to buy their lunch.

They said no thanks, they had money but were very hungry. We placed three separate orders and after we got our "food" we said goodby. They were very greatful and I was afraid Shirley might be bothered by the funk when I picked her up. She wasn't.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

NOLA Rescue Is Launched by Howie Luvzus to Help Katrina Victims!

Please check out NOLA Rescue if you want to help New Orleanians or help them prepare for the future.

HOWIELUVZUS.COM!!!

I'm slowly (because I'm on Freakin' Dial-up!) moving my stuff to http://howieluvzus.com/.
Keep watching! Exciting new things are getting underway. If I've left your site off my blogroll email me at howie###@###howieluvzus.com (leave out the ###s).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Katrina and Dial-up Internet: A Lesson in Priorities

Blogging has become increasingly challenging for me. What do I write about? If I demonstrate that a certain group isn't doing their job, someone hits me with the fact that someone else isn't doing their job either. THANKS SCOOP! No one is doing a great job except those who are actually working. The Red Cross is doing a really crappy job, but the volunteers fed me and gave me MREs. FEMA's doing a crappy job, but I did get a check. The New Orleans police & Firefighters, the Army, the National Guard have all done very well, but there has been mass confusion as well.

I could write 24 hours a day about good things and bad things. I still wouldn't get a lot done and say all I want to say because I'm on FREAKIN' DIAL-UP!

But here's the thing...Last night, Shirley and I watched Howie Jr play football! He's on the football team here at the locat high school. They call him "hurricane boy" or "New Orleans" (sure beats Katrina!) and have shown a great deal of southern hospitality. We had a blast. We would not have this opportinuty in New Orleans because only a raving lunatic would want to go through spring practice in the New Orleans heat and somehow swatting mosquitoes during a football game seems totally inappropriate to me.

Dial-up has shown me how little my opinion matters. Katrina has shown me what's truly important. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Myths: Reflections on My Trip to New Orleans

I’ll post more later, but for now----Do not send money to the Red Cross!

Send it to the Salvation Army.

My highest recommendation is to the following organization—They are great folks and they are helping the poor in New Orleans NOW. And they don’t require you to dial an 800 number that NO ONE IS ANSWERING!----Common Ground
Make a personal donation to Don Elbourne, pastor of Lakeshore Baptist Church:
Pastor Don A Elbourne Jr
1451 Great Oak
Baton Rouge,LA 70810

You can make a direct donation through--His Website
I know there are a lot of scams out there, but trust me on this one. Don is one of the most caring guys I know.

Myth #1-FEMA was slow to respond in the beginning, but they are doing a good job now. NO! It took a great deal of prayer for me to keep from “flipping off” a FEMA truck that I passed on my way out of New Orleans.

On Friday (I think) of last week I was in St Charles Parish and I saw a long line of people. I stopped to see what was going on. I asked a lady with two little kids what the line was for. She said she was waiting for FEMA assistance. Dumb, insensitive me said, “The internet is a lot faster. I’ve already received my check.” She gave me an exasperated look and said, “I don’t have the internet.” OOOPS. She said that she had been in line for eight hours. You can’t really understand how horrible that is. The heat index was well over a 100 I would guess. Her kids were soaking wet with sweat, exhausted and cranky. I went to my van and gave them candy, cokes and water. People in line asked me if I had any more to share. I emptied my van of all of my supplies. I also had two cases of water that had not been iced down. The people were so hot that they gladly took the warm water. I prayed for those folks as I drove away and cursed FEMA for opening up a place with (from what I was told) only four people to process claims.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Katrina: What I’m Feeling

I’ve not been able to write much lately. Believe it or not, I’ve been too busy to write. And, I’ve not been real sure what to write about. I have so many people to thank, but I think it’s best to do that in a personal note or in person rather than a blog. So many people have been so wonderful.

Maybe if I take the time to sort out my feelings this way I can somehow feel better. Not that I feel bad, I’m reminded every day at how blessed my family is. I just feel sort of, well—like an alien in a strange land.

My family and I are currently living in a small town in TN. I lovingly refer to it as Rooster Poot. My family here and elsewhere has been tremendously supportive. My kids just started school today and they seem like they will adjust well. My biggest concern is my 15 year old son who will seem like a foreign exchange student in his new High School!

Here goes:
1.I’m angry. I’m angry at hearing stories about how horrible the black folks from New Orleans are and how they are destroying the towns into which they have fled. I’m angry at all the images of suffering that I see. Angry at all public officials, angry at my friends who stayed in NO and contributed to the need for a massive relief effort. Angry that those who really needed to be evacuated weren’t. Angry that people can’t understand why folks now really don’t want to be evacuated. Angry that I can’t go back to my home. Angry that the New Orleans public schools, already a disaster will probably never recover. Angry that I’m forced to use dial-up internet service. Angry that I don’t have access to the files on my laptop that has locked up on me!

2. I feel guilty. I feel guilty that my house has very little damage. I feel guilty that I live in a neighborhood that has been constantly protected by police. I feel guilty that my wife and I have two incomes coming in. I feel guilty that I never had to stay in a shelter. I feel guilty that some times we feel as if we’re on vacation. I feel guilty that I failed to see how important it is to be an environmental activist and how it relates to the poor. I feel guilty that I failed to fight for federal money to help make my city safe. I feel guilty that I haven’t raised hell about the loss of wetlands. I feel guilty that I’ve considered not going back to Louisiana.

3. I feel self-righteous. I feel self-righteous because I see how materialistic most folks are and how it hinders them from caring for others. I feel self-righteous because I see so many people making excuses about why they shouldn’t help those who need it and blaming the victims for their plight. I feel self-righteous because I followed the mayor’s advice and left town in order to protect my family. Self-righteous because I was not disobedient, stubborn, selfish, or stupid enough to stay behind and have to be rescued and waste valuable insufficient resources on myself rather than having them used on those who really could not evacuate. Yes, you have “incredible stories” that sound a whole lot cooler than mine, but I’m having a very difficult time not wanting to slap you when I hear them.

These are a few of the emotions that I feel. However, the primary emotions are thankfulness and confusion. Thanks for listening and offering your help and prayers!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Black Folks from New Orleans Aren't Bad!

I just watched councilman Oliver Thomas rant about how evacuees are being turned away from Louisiana shelters. He believes that the perception is that all black folks from New Orleans are lawless.

Let me say two things here:
1.If your family hasn't has food or water for five days and the stores are closed--Are you really a looter if you seek food and water?
2.The media loves to sensationalize everything. Thus, I believe that people from NO are no better or worse than folks anywhere. I'd open my home if I still had one to a black family from NO at any time.

Don't stereotype and condemn. When you do that, it's so easy to write off hundreds of thousands of very good folks who need your help.

New Orleans Poor Get Screwed Again

Don't have a lot of time to editorialize here. Anyone that saw the evacuation of Tulane Hospital in New Orleans and the abandonment of Charity Hospital, the public hospital in NO, and still believes the inexcusable treatment of the poor in NO is not related to class---cannot have a true grasp on reality.

George W. and Katrina: One New Orleanian's Perspective

George W. Bush is one helluva nice guy. What I say of him yesterday did not surprise me. He is a very compassionate and honest guy. I have been very critical of his administration in the past. I will continue to critique it when it offends me. Not every time...I've got a lot of other things to do!

The problem with Bush is that he surrounds himself with incompetent persons who lie about what they are doing. Bush's real problem is that he believes them. Yesterday, he was the only one in his administration to say that the effort in NO wasn't doing well. However, he didn't look over his shoulder at the FEMA guy and the Homeland Security guy (sorry, I'm just too tired to look all this up) and say "You have failed a lot of people." He doesn't hold people (Karl Rove) accountable! My guess is that the FEMA guy and the HS guy will get medals after this is over!

George--you're a nice guy. However, we don't need a nice guy to lead our country. We need someone who will admit to his or her mistakes and do the right thing! The New Orleans debacle is a microcosim of you presedency--one screw up after another--but Americans have cut you slack because you are sincere.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Michael Homan Give Me a Call!

One of my best friends, Michael Homan chose to ride out Katrina. Here's his last post: http://michaelhoman.blogspot.com/2005/08/die-is-cast.html

My phone number is posted on his blog. Also missing--Gary Ostraski my wife's boss.

Hurricane Assistance Needed---I need to laugh a bit!

If you really love me and want to help, I've got a suggestion. My freezer has had no power for about four days. I left about 10lbs of fish, a couple of lbs of shrimp, and 3lbs of crawfish in it. Could you please drag the freezer about 500 yards downwind of my house before I get home?
These are the things I dread most about returning to New Orleans.

I was planning on going back next Monday, but all the info about looters kind of has me a bit hesitant!

Thanks again for all your prayers and kind words.

Katrina Brings Out the Best in People

I stopped in Wal-Mart store 335 vision center in Jackson TN this morning. I had an eye exam about three weeks ago in New Orleans and my trial pair of contacts are getting old. Unfortunately, I don't have the perscription with me. The Brian Sellers, the eye-doctor heard thet I am from New Olreans so he gave me a free eye exam and free cotacts. The Vision Center manager, Wanda Brewer, gave me an extra pair of contacts, and extra contact solution. I paid nothing for all of this! Praise God for caring people!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

How to Help New Orleans: Advice from a New Orleans (former?) Resident

Pray.
Support groups like Southern Baptist relief agencies. The team from Tennessee rocks!

Give to the New Orleans United Way. United Way agencies work locally. Therefore, to get the relief directtly to New Orleans you need to give to the New Orleans Agency. As you might guess, their website is down right now. I'm a board member of the United Way and I guarantee (spell checker broken) that it will go to those in the most need.

Red Cross and other agencies are great too. Give to reputable agencies directly.

New Orleans Tall Timbers Information

I'm hoping someone with news about the West Bank of New Orleans might be able to provide information about that area. I have a few friends in that area that never leave town. As you know, there is no phone service.

Please let me know how Algiers faired!

Please pray for the citizens of New Orleans. When my son found out that there would be no school for at least two months, he was devestated. So many of us who left the city have no idea how our friends are. Can't even contact them via cell phone because the incoming calls must come through N.O. Wierd huh? I can call anyone outside the 504 area code, but cannot receive calls on it.

Dang!

Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Friends!
B. you out there?
Homan did you leave town?
Not having email or phone service sucks!

Hurricanes Suck!

Howie and the wife and kids are now in Tyler Texas. The house is gone and my little ones won't be able to go back to school for two months. For now, we'll be moving our van load of everything we have to Tennessee. We may be there for months. Pray for us!

BTW--if you hear about anyone who is complaining about gas prices, tell them about Howie and thousands who have nothing left after this storm. It could be worse!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Great Job Al and Bobby!

I know that I give Al Mohler the hard time he deserves when he makes damaging comments. I think I need to give him credit when he does something right. His article about Pat Robertson is excellent! Nice job!

Bobby Welch, president of the Southern Baptist Convention also spoke against Robertson.

Thanks guys!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Al Mohler the Sexist

OK D. R. I know how you like to nitpick terms so that you can avoid the real issue so here goes...:)
Sexist-(from dictionary.com) a man with a chauvinistic belief in the inferiority of women. I was outraged after reading Mohler's latest blog on pornography. (I know I sound like a broken record here, but let me make my point). In his 1500 word entry, Mohler speaks of the "Culture of Pornography" and how it negatively impacts families. He mentions young men and boys over ten times. Guess how many references there are to young women? Girls?

His view is so typical of Fundamentalists. They are so patriarchal that they can't even acknowledge the "objects" of pornography. Mohler can't even give one sentence about how pornography impacts women and young girls. Why? They don't matter. I sometimes overstate my case to make a point. I'm not doing that here. To speak of the dangers of pornography without mentioning its impact on women and young girls is to demonstrate that they do not matter. They really aren't part of the equation.

I wasn't too thrilled with Jimmy Carter's recent speech to Baptists at the Baptist World Congress that accused Southern Baptists of "discriminating against women." I thought the speech was kind of tacky. However, after having read Mohler's take on pornography, I must agree that at least Mohler doesn't seem to recognize that women are human.

Like it or not, Mohler speaks for Southern Baptists. Unfortunately, no one in the Southern Baptist camp has the intestinal fortitude to call him or Richard Land on the carpet when they say stupid things.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Bush Administration Faces a Possible Energy Crisis

As oil prices rise dramatically Vice President Dick Chaney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld inform President Bush that this might be a problem:

Chaney: Mr President, Rummy and I have talked it over and think that you need to show the American people that you care about rising oil prices.

W.: They’re rising? Isn’t that good for business?

Rumsfeld: Well, for Exxon and a few other major oil producers, but in general, most people think it’s bad.

W.: Bad? Yeah, I can see that now. It’s pretty obvious. A moron can see that. Why didn’t I…

Chaney (interrupts): Mr. President we have a plan.

W.: Plans are good.

Chaney: Our plan is to…

W. (interrupts): Wait a minute Dick. I’ve been getting in a lot of trouble lately about your plans. They haven’t worked out so good.

Rumsfeld: Mr. President there are good plans and bad plans, good plans that go bad, bad plans that work out to be good, and sometimes failing to plan is a plan to fail, and sometimes failing to plan works out OK.

W.: Jesus, Rummy. Sometimes you’re so smart it scares me! Well anyway. I’m gonna pray about this just like I did with the Iraq thingy. My heavenly father will tell me what to do! See y’all later. I’ve got to get down to business here.

Rumsfeld and Chaney roll their eyes and leave.

W.: Dear Jesus, I’ve got a oil problem here.

Jesus: An energy crisis?

W.: Yeah, one of those.

Jesus: Well, Christians are supposed to live sacrificial lives. Why don’t you do the same thing I told Jimmy Carter to do?

W.: Jimmy Carter?

Jesus: Yes George, he was the president a few years back.

W.: Really? Oh, yeah. I knew that.

Jesus: I told him that it would be a good example to turn back the thermostat at the White House to 69 degrees and suggest that Americans do the same. You know, (chuckling) Jimmy turned it back to 68!

W.: I’m sort of getting to see the picture here. I gotta do something smart. Catchy!

Jesus: SACRIFICIAL!

W.: Pardon me here Jesus but didn’t you perform a sacrificial so I don’t have to?

Jesus: Oi Vay!

W.: Oh man, I got one! You know how my wife…

Jesus: Laura

W.: I knew that! How Laura always wants me to stay up later. What’s that thing called when we move the time around? It’s around Easter or Father’s Day or something?

Jesus: Daylight savings time?

W.: Yeah. I’ll talk to Chaney about it. He’ll let me know how it works. Somehow we stay up later at night, but go to bed earlier. That way we work less harder and save energy.

Jesus: How about just turning the thermostat down?

W.: Jesus, I mean no disrespect here, but I think I’m having another genius stroke here! I’ll get back to you later.

Later, after W. has shared his “stroke of genius” with Chaney. Chaney talks with Rumsfeld.

Chaney: Rummy, looks like George has had another brain fart.

Rumsfeld: I don’t know Dick. Could be a good idea if we explain it right.

They both laugh and say together: All our ideas are great when we explain them right!

Chaney: You’re right. It means no real sacrifice for anyone and it will f8ck Canada up really bad! I love it!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

When I Grow Up

When I grow up I want to be able to share my hurts like Elle. The first post that I read from her described her struggle with having to leave a Baptist church. Her post described the situation without sounding bitter or hateful. I was very impressed! Her last few posts have outlined how those who wanted to "evangelize" her actually took advantage of her situation. They are a very good read for those who are of the "confrontational evangelism" mold and those who do it relationally as well. She is so tactful and loving in her posts. More so than I am. I hope to be that way one of these days. Thanks Elle! You are a great example to all of us who have been hurt by Christians!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Christian Priorities?

I read the post below on my friend Editor B's blog just after reading Al Mohler's newest article on Deliberate Childlessness. I am not slamming Mohler here even though the article is goofy. But reading B's post made me stop and think about my priorities as a Christian. Mohler's piece seemed pretty damn irrelevant next to the following:

Tisha Isha

August 18th, 2005

Students go back to the New Orleans Public Schools today. In theory anyway. In practice — but that’s another story.

The big hype this year? The tissue issue. (Pronunciation guide: tisha isha.) Yes, administrators are actually promising toilet paper will be on hand at every school this year! Amazing.

From the Sunday T-P:

A&M executive Sajan George, now the system’s chief operating officer, toured the system throughout the week, spewing orders and making promises, including the bold vow that every school bathroom will start school with toilet paper — a marked departure from past years.

As he made the claim at a meeting with 200 teachers late Wednesday afternoon, the room erupted in gasps and cries of shock. “I’d like to see that!” several exclaimed.

Xy (Editor B's wife) reports that a hotline has been established just for toilet paper. If a school runs out, all they have to do is call the hotline, and someone will be dispensed to run down to the Wal-Mart and buy more.

I shit you not.


Think about it. What would Jesus be debating about right now? Or would he be debating? Note to self--less blogging, more action!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Howie’s Definition of Fundamentalism

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, yet believe that Paul’s statements about women were culturally conditioned, just like his statements on slavery. This does not mean they don’t believe the Bible and are going to hell.

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, and believe that women should not be pastors. This belief does not mean that they hate women or that they feel that women are inferior.

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, and hold that homosexuality is a sin. This does not mean that they hate homosexuals.

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, but they believe that statements in the Bible about homosexuality being a sin are based upon ancient views of sexuality and are not valid today. They are not trying to destroy American and they honestly believe that God is OK with homosexuality.

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, and believe that evolution is a scientific fact. They do not hate God, but believe that the main purpose behind the Bible is theological, not scientific or historical.

I believe that I have Christian brothers and sisters who love God and believe the Bible is true, and believe that the earth was created in six literal days. They are not ignorant persons who reject reality or modern beliefs and are not anti-intellectuals.

However, I believe that some of the stereotypes described above are sometimes accurate.

I believe that Christians are called to love God, one another, and their enemies. Thus, I believe that name-calling and insulting brothers and sisters in Christ over these issues is un-Christian and destructive to the body of Christ and our witness to the world.

If this post ticks you off…you are a Fundamentalist. I love you any way, but that’s how I define a Fundamentalist. As Sally McFague wrote, “any one who fails to acknowledge his or her own limitations is a Fundamentalist." Therefore, if you think all who believe homosexuality is a sin are hate-filled idiots---I call that Fundamentalism. If you think those who believe in evolution are non-believers and God-haters----you are a Fundamentalist.

I pray for Fundamentalists of every stripe to learn to love one another. Please pray for me too. I need the prayer and you need the practice!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Why Liberals Choose Jesus over Paul

When I began my study at the seminary, I heard about Liberals who rejected Paul’s writings and chose to follow only Jesus. I thought this idea was absurd. How could one accept one part of the Bible and reject another? It didn’t make sense to me. I learned how the Bible was “canonized” and thought it was an amazing story (still do) that Christians over in Africa, Italy, Israel and elsewhere could affirm the same twenty-seven books of the New Testament at about the same time without getting together and talking about it. Now that I think of it, staying apart may be why they affirmed the same books! How we got our twenty-seven books of the New Testament is truly a miracle! Only the Spirit of God could have enabled the process to work.

I am not a Liberal, even though I’ve been labeled as one by quite a few Baptists, but I’m beginning to see their point. Do you know why Liberals pick Jesus over Paul? It’s because the Fundamentalists have picked Paul over Jesus and many of us would like to hear from Jesus now and then. Think I’m exaggerating? Read the following-----which is an attack on Jimmy Carter by a Fundamentalist.

"It's some surprise when former President Carter gets something right, not when he gets something wrong," Land says. "We have a choice. We can either follow the spirit of the age and follow syncretizers and compromisers like Jimmy Carter -- or we can follow the Apostle Paul. And we'd rather have the approval of God and the Apostle Paul than Jimmy Carter."

Did you catch it? This guy wants the approval of God AND PAUL! What about Jesus? I know what you’re going to say. I’ve taken the quote out of context.

Let me give you a few more instances. Let’s look at The Baptist Faith and Message of 2000. First, it’s very interesting in the preambles of the 1925 and 1963 the names of the committee members are not listed. Why? Because the document is supposed to be representative of Southern Baptists who approve it, not about endorsing or advancing careers of Baptist ministers or “professionals.” Second, I’m not going to work through all the differences, but only those that I find pertinent to my argument or particularly troublesome. I find a few additions very important, but I might point those out in another post. (One huge aside—“Through the temptation of Satan man transgressed the command of God, and fell from his original innocence whereby his posterity inherit a nature and an environment inclined toward sin. Therefore, as soon as they are capable of moral action, they become transgressors and are under condemnation.” Most of the Calvinist Profs at SBC seminaries are very offended by this BF & M statement! I argued with one over this statement because he said he clearly rejected it. However, because he believed the statement on women added to the BF & M, he is allowed to teach at the seminary. What a hypocrite!)

Back to Jesus! 1963 version. Last statement about Scripture—“The criterion by which the Bible is to be interpreted is Jesus Christ.” 2000 version. Last statement about Scripture—“All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.” A subtle change, but very important! They didn’t want to take Jesus totally out of the picture, but they did take Jesus’ role as hermeneutical screen out of the way. My grandmother told me that when I looked at those scary Old Testament passages when the Israelites killed people, animals, children in order to satisfy a wrathful God I needed to understand that according to Hebrews, Jesus is the measure of how we need to look at those passages. My seminary profs did the same.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, when you take away Jesus as your hermeneutic screen, you can justify just about any action. Want to go kill other people before they can kill you? Look to the Old Testament. To hell with that love your enemies stuff. That’s for wimps and sissies!

Example two. Baptist Theologians published in 1990 by Broadman Press included folks like Walter Rauschenbusch, James Deotis Roberts, and Dale Moody. Three very Christocentric Theologians. The 2001 version leaves these three out. Hmmm, take out the father of the Social Gospel, one of the most noted Black theologians, and a very anti-Calvinistic theologian. Wonder why?

You see, Fundamentalists took Jesus out of their Christianity so that they don’t have to love their neighbor! (Even though Paul said this too!) They don’t have to love their enemies! They judge your Christianity based on (their version of) orthodoxy, not faith and following Jesus! Deny your neighbor health care! Deny your neighbor a good education! It’s no problem as long as you are against abortion and agree with the hundreds of statements and resolutions condemning homosexuality!

The quote about Paul was spoken by Richard Land of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty (can’t say it out loud without laughing!) Commission. More on him later!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Beautiful Young Girls!

Terrible ain’t it? I bet I get a thousand hits today because of my “provocative” title. As I flipped through the channels this morning to find Cold Pizza, I ran across a Jessica Simpson video. Yeah, I watched it until it was over. It sickened me. Maybe because I’ve been reading too much Feminist Theologylately, but probably because Shirley and I have a little girl who loves to dance. I can’t handle the fact that my daughter may come to believe that she is important simply because she can attract the opposite sex. I’m not going to get into the “how we got this way” mode. It doesn’t do anybody any good.

I’m just so furious right now that my Christian brothers and sisters and I have been so silent on this issue. Conservative Christians seem to totally miss the point here. They seem to condemn Jessica Simpson’s actions because they encourage lust. That’s really not the point. Men really don’t need that much encouragement to lust! The problem is that the obsession with plastic surgery, big tits, and hot women is that we cease to see women as human beings created in the image of God. I long for the days of Murphy Brown! Oh, Dan Quail where are you now? What about those Desperate Housewives? Aren’t they worse? Where are the feminists?

Our culture is so obsessed with materialism and consumerism (don’t really know if they are too different) that it’s now OK to see persons as products. Better “package” yourself nicely or you’re not worth anything! This mindset will further stratify the human race. Poor folks usually can’t afford to dress too well. Sometimes they can’t afford to straighten their teeth or enhance their “assets.” That will provide those who can afford to make ourselves beautiful an even easier way to write them off and ignore them. We make ourselves more beautiful in so many ways. We drive expensive, stylish cars and vehicles that destroy the planet. We wear expensive clothes to show others that we are better than everyone else. We spend enough money on coffee each week that we could feed an entire family in some places. Then we brag about how much we love coffee so we will appear cool. Yes, you goatee wearing Emergers I’m talking about you!

The website that displays the above picture as an example of a Beautiful Young Woman states the following: “The Beautiful Girlhood Collection is our most ambitious project yet. We aspire, by the grace of God, to encourage the rebuilding of a culture of virtuous womanhood. In a world that frowns on femininity, that minimizes motherhood, and that belittles the beauty of being a true woman of God, we dare to believe that the biblical vision for girlhood is a glorious vision. It is, in fact -- a beautiful vision. It is a vision for purity and contentment, for faith and fortitude, for enthusiasm and industry, for heritage and home, and for joy and friendship. It is a vision so bright and so wonderful that it must be boldly proclaimed. We are here to proclaim it.”

I don’t really agree with their view of womanhood, but it was refreshing to see a different view than the one being espoused by our current culture. Come grow with me as I seek ways to encourage my daughter to become truly beautiful!

For another perspective read the following article about the "fat Dove women."

Thanks again Becky! You rock!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

My Friend the Witch Reflects on C.S. Lewis

I almost hesitate to post this because I don't want any of my readers to try to convert my friend. She's currently reading Mere Christianity and is posting her reflections on her blog. I think it would be very helpful for those of us who are not familiar with Wicca to read about her perspective.

Let me warn you--Do not post rude or condemning posts on her site. First of all, it's unchristian. Second, I will hunt you down. Third, I've heard those spells really work. :)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


Howie's Wife Has A Name!

Take a look at Midday at the Well for the results!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Vin Diesel has a part time job shooting birds at the airport.

Inspired by Jordon Cooper's contextless links posts, I submit the following:

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Archaeology Students Discover Text Written by Jesus!

Check out this post at Midday at the Well. A thought provoking piece about Jesus' prophetic message.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Blogger draws attention to case of missing mom

Richard Blair at the All Spin Zone was one of the first to draw attention to this story. Here's part of his letter to CNN:

Latoyia Figueroa is still missing after 8 days. And as tragic as the Natalee Holloway case might be, Natalee doesn't have a seven year old child wondering where she is, nor was Natalee (to the best of our knowledge) 5 months pregnant.

Here's an overview of the important details in this “missing woman” case:

1) Latoyia (we should only use her first name) is not white.
2) She does not have blonde hair.
3) She was not scheduled to get married last weekend.
4) She's from West Philadelphia.
5) There may actually be a lead or two in her case.
6) HER UNBORN BABY, HER UNBORN BABY, HER UNBORN BABY.
7) To the best of our knowledge, no one from Texas has yet offered to bring in cadaver dogs to search for Latoyia, nor have forensic dive teams volunteered to scour the Schuylkill or Delaware rivers.
8 ) Also to the best of our knowledge, the FBI hasn't been requested to participate in the investigation (even though Philly actually is in the US of A), nor have any DNA samples been rushed to Washington, DC.
9) HER UNBORN BABY, HER UNBORN BABY, HER UNBORN BABY.

For the latest see the Washington Times article.

Baptist Press Article on American Consumerism!

I just gave Baptist Press a hard time below and then noticed this wonderful article! Great job Erich Bridges!

Read the entire article [here]

See Midday at the Well for more.

What Part of “Love Your Neighbor” Don’t You Understand?

Remember the two greatest commandments Jesus talked about? Love God, Love your neighbor? How is it that Christians can stand by and allow our government to not only engage in torture, but threaten those who wish to write legislation to outlaw torture. Thanks again to Becky, I learned that the Bush administration has issued a threat against Republican John McCain and at least 10 other Republican senators who are proposing legislation to stop the U.S. military from engaging in “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.”

Conservative Christians have been very vocal the past few years about America being a Christian nation. Bill Clinton’s immorality certainly aroused their claims that we need to have a man we can trust in the White House. How is using coercion to continue to allow torture a “Christian value?” Why aren’t Christians outraged? Can somebody please find an example of a Conservative Christian leader speaking out against this egregious violation of human rights? How can we love our neighbors and allow them to be tortured?

In Al Mohler's Blog today, he stated the following:

"A world which has in the last century alone witnessed the horrors of Auschwitz, the Soviet gulag, the Cambodian killing fields, Nazi "medicine," and two world wars has no reason to trust its own "values." Chesterton once remarked that the mark of the barbarian is "the sacrifice of the permanent to the temporary." In the midst of a new barbarism, it is the church's task to speak permanent truths to a rebellious world. The church, too, will reap what it sows."
Unfortunately, he was only speaking about abortion, not the human rights of all persons. I wish that Conservative Christians could see the connection here. A survey of Baptist Press articles revealed that there are 1186 articles on abortion and only 131 articles on torture. Many of the articles on torture are condemning North Korea and China. Surprisingly, some articles listed on the "torture" search were actually about abortion, homosexuality, and the Passion of the Christ.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Name Howie’s Wife Contest!

My wonderful wife is a spiritual inspiration to me. She has encouraged me when I was down and offered Godly council in times of uncertainty. Because of this, I will often reference my wife in this blog. However, Mrs. Howie would like to remain anonymous too. Well, if you knew her name, both of my loyal and intelligent readers would be able to figure out who I am!

So, Carsie (get it? Carsie Luvzus?) would like a name too! If she deems you the winner of the contest, I’ll send you an autographed copy (My autograph of course!) of Dallas Willard’s Spirit of the Disciplines!

Let the contest begin!

*Disclaimer--my copy is an older version and the cover doesn't have pine cones on it.

FMLA, the Religious Right, and WWJD

Please don’t think I’m here to slam the religious right again. I’m asking serious questions of my brothers and sisters from the right in an attempt to walk through together what I think is an issue of major import.

I heard Sunday on CNN that the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is under fire from several major US corporations. (I was kind of shocked that Hallmark Cards Inc. is leading the charge—they seem so, dare I say it? Family friendly and nice!) I read about it this morning on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

A brief description of the FMLA is that it is a federal law that requires employers with more than 50 employees to allow certain employees to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave due to the birth or adoption of a child, serious illness, or serious illness of a child, spouse, or parent.

My question is this….How the heck can persons who call themselves Christians not be furious that our president could (and probably will) allow this law to be abolished or seriously altered? If you seriously want abortion abolished, why wouldn’t you want those who are adopting children to be afforded the opportunity to spend time with their children at the beginning of this wonderful process?

The argument for limiting or repealing the law is that it costs business a lot of money each year. How much? That’s debated. But should the cost involved be the determining factor for Christians? I don’t think it should. The religious right often employs the “big government is bad” hermeneutic when determining whether or not an issue should be regulated by legislation. I think that this is ultimately a dangerous approach that results in persons that Jesus would want to protect being hurt.

Let me know what you think!
Here's an article that is critical of the FMLA.
Here's a blog entry by someone who supports the FMLA and who references Patti Phillips who through the FMLA was able to spend time with her daughter who died of cancer.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The Softer Side of Howie

Howie has launched a blog that focusses only on spiritual insights and struggles. It's called Midday at the Well. Just like the woman at the well in John's gospel, Jesus sometimes shows up to visit this poor sinner and transforms his life. I'd like to share those moments with you. This site will feature inspirational passages, personal stories of Howie's struggles with and glimpses of God, and lots of recommendations for reading and music. Hopefully, by seeing Howie's softer side, you might be inspired to share your own thoughts. Here's the first entry:

Jazz Fest Jesus and the Kingdom of God

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Thanks to Marty Duren at the SBC Outpost!

I found some really helpful rules for responsible blogging at Marty's blog. I've adapted a few, and added a few of my own. I'm hoping that Joe and D.R. will keep me honest! Here goes!

What I hope to accomplish
1. Provide critiques of actions or opinions that Christians share that are de-humanizing or dishonorable to God or God’s creation.
2. Provide political or social commentary on issues that de-humanize or hurt God’s creation.
3. Provide information and links to articles and blogs that are more important than my own.
4. Deal with issues and ideas while leaving God to deal with people.
5. Provide humor and levity to someone’s day occasionally.
6. Sometimes provide a perspective that you don't read anywhere else.
7. Engage in profitable dialogue with those who disagree with my views and with those who share my views.

What I hope to avoid
1. Self promotion.
2. Wasting my time and yours.
3. Crossing the line from sarcasm and satire, both of which can be used effectively in making points, to sheer meanness.
4. Humor that is not evident in the reading.
5. Name-calling (Lord help me on this one!) and denigrating one’s character.

Get the Boy a Leash!

I received the following comment from Joe Kennedy about a recent post.
Are the democrats really more verbose? Seriously. What is your purpose with this article? To prove that there are equally ridiculous people on all sides, even the moderates? What's the point in posting things like that? So what if the kid yells out "Howard Dean is gay!"? People are people. Let the guy do his thing, you do yours, right? Believe it or not, and this is something I'm having to work on, there's something about picking your battles. Poverty? Yeah. Genocide? Definitely. Some kid mocking Howard Dean? Give me a break.

One of the biggest shots toward "conservatives" is that they are portrayed as being hostile toward the left, that they are always out speaking negatively toward the left. The same is true for the "liberals." Activists too. Maybe instead of mocking people or posting derogatory articles, maybe you should offer insight into how to remedy things.

I think you do more harm for your cause by posting this junk than good. Those of us who might be moderate or Christ-like conservatives (the real compassionate conservatives) are more likely to see you as one of those leftists who just want to be hostile. Certainly they do not want to solve any problems, just complain about them.

Just a thought or three.
I was shocked at Joe's response. I never intended to look like I feel like conservatives are bad and non-conservatives are good. I was just having a little fun. However, I really do think I came off as a bit (OK a BIG) jerk. D.R. has also chastised me a time or two.

I could write these guys off as too sensitive and keep blasting, but I'm honored that they read my blog and care enough to make thoughtful, Christ-like suggestions. I do want to make a difference somehow. Hang around guys! Keep me honest. Sometimes my sarcasm comes across as arrogance. Know that I'm not arrogant. I am keenly aware of my own shortcomings.

In pointing out harmful issues, I don't want to engage in harmful speech myself. I'm just pretty passionate about certain issues.

Sincerely,

Howie

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


John Roberts' New US Christian Flag: Let us make a Wave Offering to our Lord!

I think Becky at grrrlmeetsworld.com has the most fascinating posts day in and day out. She pointed out this story of a group that sells a "Christian Flag of the United States of America!" As I read the post, I was reminded of Friar Tim's post about Vacation Bible School and his "anabaptist rebellion" concerning having to say the pledge of allegiance to an American flag in his church. I was having a pretty good chuckle over this issue until I read Bruce Prescott's article on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts. It seems that Roberts argued in favor of prayer at public high school graduations.

Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, described Roberts as a "faithful soldier in the right wing's war on the Bill of Rights." He explained that "Roberts, as deputy solicitor general in the first Bush White House, drafted a key legal brief urging the Supreme Court to scrap decades of settled church-state law and uphold school-sponsored prayer at public school graduation ceremonies and other forms of government-endorsed religion. (At the time, Roberts was serving as political deputy in charge of crafting policy under then Solicitor General Kenneth Starr.)"

Sign the MoveOn.org petition here.

Seems we might have to get used to the idea of an American Christian flag after all!
God help us!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Do Some Baptist Beliefs Promote Violence?

I was reading this article by Starhawk today and thought of several comments by Baptists that have been bothering me lately. Here is a brief excerpt:

But patriarchy assigns the qualities associated with aggression and competition to men, and relegates to women the devalued roles of nurturing and service. Patriarchy values the hard over the soft, the tough over the tender; punishment, vengeance and vindictiveness over compassion, negotiation, and reconciliation. The 'hard' qualities are identified with power, success and masculinity, and exhalted. The 'soft' qualities are identified with weakness, powerlessness, and femininity, and denigrated.

Under patriarchy, men are shamed and considered weak if they exhibit qualities associated with women. Politicians win elections by being tough on terror, tough on crime, tough on drugs, tough on welfare mothers. Calls for cooperation, negotiation, compassion or recognition of our mutual interdependence are equated with womanly weakness. In the name of 'toughness', the power holders deprive the poor of the means of life, the troubled and the ill of treatment and care, the ordinary citizen of our privacy and civil rights. Force, punishment, and violence are patriarchy's answer to conflicts and social problems.

Patriarchy finds its ultimate expression in war.... War is the justification for the clampdown that lets the rulers impose control on every aspect of life.

Now for the quotes by Baptists. Here’s Al Mohler on boys and their relationships to girls—He’s contrasting Barbarians and Wimps—he describes wimps thusly: “Wimps, on the other hand, look to women for emotional support, consider girlfriends to be conversation partners, and look to women for pity. They are shameless.”

God forbid a real man (or boy) look to a woman for emotional support or consider them conversation partners! We know how real men should view them don’t we? Almost-humans that can satisfy our desires and serve us and submit to us. AMEN Al!

Another Baptist explains what he is teaching his little boys. Russell D. Moore, Dean of Theology and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, serves as executive director of the Henry Institute wrote a recent article, “Why I'm Raising Violent 4 Year-Olds.” Below is a sample of Moore’s “wisdom” concerning child-rearing.

This is because of my overall philosophy of childrearing. I am aiming to raise up violent sons.

I am not seeking to raise sons who are violent in the amoral, pagan sense of contemporary teenagers playing "Grand Theft Auto" video games or carjacking motorists. I want them to be more violent than that.

I want them to understand that the Christian life is not a Hallmark Channel version of baptized sentimentality. Instead, it is a cosmic battle between an evil dragon and the child of the woman, an ancient warfare that now includes all who belong to the Child of the Promise (Rev 12). I want them to forgive their enemies, not because they are good boys, but because they understand that vengeance against the Serpent comes not from their hand, but from that of the anointed Warrior-King (Rev 19), whose blood-soaked garments don't often transfer to the imagery of a Precious Moments wall-hanging. And I want them to exercise self-control of their passions, not because it is polite, but because they are called to struggle against the Evil One, even to the point of cutting off their own limbs rather than succumb to devices.

The "Star Wars" movie offered the opportunity to talk through these issues of cosmic struggle with my boys. And to place such themes in context of what they already know from the most blessedly violent bedtime stories they hear every day: the Holy Scriptures.

Thanks Al and Russell! I can now tell my boys not to see girls as persons they can talk to and confide in. I can also encourage them to be violent! I'm so proud to be a Baptist! Guess that's why I'm also Republican!--oops need to burn my ACLU card, join the NRA, and the Republican Party.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Be A Witness!

One Hell of a Video! A Must See!

Tired of having the networks tell you that Tom Cruise's wedding and the "Runaway Bride" story is news? Tell them about it! Show them that Americans aren't just shallow morons who care more about Michael Jackson than the genocide in Darfur!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

The Christian Response to the London Bombing

Christians need to unite and spread the love of God to all of God's children. Now is not the time to use this as an opportunity to attack Muslims or their faith--see Mohler and Wright below. It is the time to demonstrate the love of God by condemning those opportunists that seem to relish these types of events to advance their own cause.

In John 9:1-5, Jesus and his disciples came upon a man who was blind from birth. The disciples saw this as an opportunity for a theology lesson-"who sinned, this man, or his parents?" Jesus saw it as an opportunity to glorify God. Jesus brought healing, not condemnation. Let's do the same!

Speak out against ignorant, self seeking, self-righteous, ****** (losing my religion here). Speak up for those who are hurting! The victims and their families and Muslims who are being abused.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Posts Related to the London Bombing

Here are a few posts by Muslims:
Islamicate Responding to London
It Is a Sad Sad Day
Muslim Safety Forum Press Release
Ethnically Incorrect-Beautiful Artwork
This Post has Several Good Links
Global Voices Online

Here are a few posts by Baptists:
A Tale of Two Days: A very insightful and God-centered response by D.R.
Live...from New Orleans prays
Dr Mike Kear focuses on the need to fight terrorism
Left and Christian critiques Brit Hume's statement -----Here's Brit Hume's outrageous Statement
Not surprisingly, the Christian Worldview Network sees the London Bombings as an opportunity to buy gold and get rich!
*****Al Mohler uses this opportunity (actually this article is a reprint from earlier) to attack American Universities and Islam! "the more important truth is that Islam is at war with the cross of Christ."
Brandon-a quasi-badass son of a preacher man (not sure he's baptist) had an insightful post
Brandon referenced this post from Dennis Wright which like Mohler's entry slams Muslims.

A Rabbi offers help for children trying to deal with the bombings.