Friday, April 21, 2006

Parson to Person Partly Right, Partly Wrong

Today's Journal-Times ran another "Parson to Person" coulmn. As a conservative local clergyman, I have often criticized these commentaries and their writers for an overwhelmingly liberal bent.

The last time Rev. Glen Halbe wrote about homosexuality, I responded with this.

Well he writes again today, on the same topic of homosexuality (got any other material, Rev. Halbe?). At least he gets it partly right today. Let me explain:

In pondering how the laws of the Bible should be understood, Halbe rightly points out that much of the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality is found in the book of Leviticus. He's right, in a sense, that these laws do not apply to Christians and that they were meant for the ancient Israelites. Even the most conservative Christian doesn't advocate the death penalty for homosexuality, as Leviticus did. Well, maybe Fred Phelps, but 99.9% of Christians recognize he is a whacko.

However, the fact that the civil laws of the Old Testament do not apply to modern American society does not negate the fact that the moral law of the entire Bible is still valid. Homosexual apologists often resort to the "Leviticus strategy", which is really just a tactic of argumentation. A more appropriate place for modern Christians to begin their application of the Bible to the homosexual question is the NEW Testament book of Romans (chapter 1). Read it. It's clear. But, of course, liberals throw out any Bible passage that they don't like.

If a Christian believes Christian morality is true and right, then he will vote for laws which generally enforce that morality. This is not Theocracy, it's Democracy informed by Christian morality. For this, Rev. Halbe wants us to feel guilty. Voting what you think is right is "imposing" your morality on someone else? Oh, but only if you are voting for conservative morality. I see.

Now, I'm not saying that everything that is moral or immoral should be legislated by the civil government. No one wants Uncle Same policing every time we tell a white lie, or insult someone, or fail to love our neighbor. That would be more like how the early American Puritains tried to live - burning witches and all.

But on the other hand, society has various was of dealing with immoral behavior. For example, what would happen in polite company if someone used the "N" word? Good people just wouldn't approve. And they would deal with it apart from the penalties of criminal law. Homosexuality was against the law at times and places in our country's history, but was universally morally unacceptable.

I think most Christians who understand the immorality of it would not endorse legislation against it, but just don't want special legal protections for it. True tolerance means allowing something that you disagree with, not approving it. But the homosexual agenda is not about simply seeking tolerance, it wants everyone to approve. And if you don't, then YOU are tarred as a bigot and feathered as intolerant.

Finally, I have to say that I believe my role as a pastor is not to prescribe specific political action on a given topic, but to be concerned with what the Bible teaches clearly. Christians can disagree on the best way to implement their values in our society. Maybe a constitutional ammendment is the best way. Maybe other laws, or no laws are better. But in any case, Christians who read and do NOT twist the Bible will come to the clear conclusion that God condemns homosexual behavior as immoral. This, Rev. Halbe seems unable to do.

Cross-posted at Preachrblog

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

School Security

Maybe Racine Unified needs to contract out to this guy for school security:

The bad guys won't stand a chance.

But They Want More Of My Money

Racine Unified can't even keep kids safe in the bathrooms.

I bet they claim it's because we don't pay enough in taxes. Even at $10,000 per student. It's stuff like this that tells me they don't need any more of my money; they need to get their act together.

RACINE - The Racine Unified School District needs to do more on school safety, two parents of assaulted students said during the public comment portion of Monday night's School Board meeting.

Angie Olsen said one of her sons, a freshman, was assaulted in the bathroom at Case High School on March 3. In a random act of violence, five assailants punched him in the back of the neck, pushing his head into a wall and embedded his braces into his cheek, she said.

"Kids won't even use bathrooms out of fear," Olsen said. "How can kids get an education in such an unsafe environment?" One of her older sons, a senior, was randomly assaulted by a group of high school students in a fast-food parking lot on April 7.

"We have learned these are gang-related," Olsen said, adding that students are making video tapes of the fights. Police reports were filed in both cases, she said.

Liz Rosienski said her son was assaulted in the bathroom at Park High School on March 30. He was using the bathroom at the end of the school day before boarding the bus to go home, she said.

Three students entered the bathroom, repeatedly punched her son and made racial comments. He was unable to identify his attackers.

"This is traumatic," she said. "My son didn't sleep for four nights."

Rosienski said the school has since locked upstairs bathrooms, but hasn't informed students or staff of the reason.

She said Principal John Scott told her that bathroom assaults were an issue last school year and have picked up again.

"This cannot be tolerated in our schools," Rosienski said.

Olsen said she was told the students involved in these types of attacks often get expelled from one school and sent to another school, where the attacks continue. In one case, a student's jaw was broken at Case High School, Olsen said.

Superintendent Tom Hicks said he would personally follow up on the parent's concerns, bringing in Assistant Superintendent Jose Martinez and the new Director of Security Al Days.

"...I believe I was very clear about the nature of penalties that needed to be in place when such violence occurs," Hicks said at Monday's School Board meeting.

There does not appear to be any spike in violence at local high schools, according to Sgt. Steve Madsen of the Racine Police Department.

Wanna bet the pro-referendum advocates cite this as part of the reason we need to give RUSD permission to blow the spending caps? That we need a tax increase?

Actually, this is a perfect reason to vote "NO!"