Boycott Compaq

Compaq Computers annually sells about 400,000 computers in Canada. I wish that number could be brought down to zero.

Compaq just bought DEC computers for $9 billion. DEC was profitable and the DEC plant in Kanata, Ontario, was among the most efficient computer system production plants in North America.

Do you remember these big corporations demanding tax cuts and a “hospitable” environment for big business? They told us that we had to be efficient and competitive if we wished to retain healthy economic growth. Just like the DEC plant (which manufactures Alpha motherboards for high performance computer systems). They said taxes should be reduced, just like Mike Harris has been doing, and workers need to be well-trained, just as the public education system in the Ottawa area has been doing.

Well, it turns out we were lied to. Efficiency doesn’t matter. Worker training, dedication and loyalty doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in the universe of big business. Compaq is removing production of the Alpha systems from the Kanata plant and laying off 1,100 workers, with more cuts to come. Thank you and good bye.

Don’t get me wrong. Nobody should be able to force Compaq to employ workers it doesn’t want. But neither do we have to buy computers from a manufacturer who doesn’t give a damn about its employees. Some people would have you believe that corporations owe nothing to anyone, except for the bottom line. Astonishingly, among their friends are so-called Christians in the U.S. who believe that capitalism is ordained by the bible. Richard De Vos, one of the founder’s of Amway, donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party every year. He knows who butters his bread.

These people act as if their employees, their plants, the transportation infrastructure, the health care system, the education system, etc., comes from nowhere and costs nothing. They certainly act as if they owe nothing for any of these things that make it possible for DEC/Compaq to build a plant, hire trained, qualified employees, transport their products, and make piles of money. The minute they think they can increase their share values by dumping their own loyal employees, they will do it, without the slightest concern for these workers, their families, or their communities.

Well, we certainly don’t need Compaq. The truth is that there are many excellent competitors out there whose products are more reasonably priced in any case. Boycott Compaq! Send a message to the big fat corporate bosses who never cut their own salaries when times are hard: we will reward corporations that display some sense of responsibility towards the communities from which they get their profits.

Boycott Compaq.

CNN

I saw something really cool today. In the World Cup soccer match between the Netherlands and Korea: a Korean player was given a yellow card for taking too long to take a penalty kick.

Just think: someone made a rule for this incredibly popular sport that requires players to hurry up and put the ball back into play. And this is a game which never stops for a commercial. If you watch only North American team sports and never watched soccer, I need to repeat that to you: they never stop for a commercial.

TSN, of course, does stop. So what do they do? They split the screen into two ugly boxes, one large one on top, and one tiny one on the bottom. They show a commercial, of course, in the large one, and boost the sound way up over the game.

May you never get used to such outrages. The owners and managers of TSN stink. They are pigs. They are greedy and despicable. There is a special place in Hell for them, where they will be strapped in chairs, their eyelids held open with steel clamps, and they are forced to watch 6,778,569 Tidy Bowl commercials over and over again.

***

I tried watching Larry King on CNN the other day. They had four guests on to discuss the Southern Baptist’s Convention’s decision that women should submit to their husbands. Larry King, by the way, has been married about five times. His latest wife is 14 years old. No, I’m kidding. I think she is 28. Larry King looks like he is about 60.

The theologian who tried to defend the statement was a liar. He said it doesn’t mean what we think it means: husbands have the greater responsibility because they are servants and must be responsible for Christ for the family. Really. Women should be happy that men have gladly undertaken this terribly painful, heavy responsibility.  In other words, it means exactly what it appears to mean: men are the boss.  Saying that being the boss is a burden doesn’t change that fact one iota.

As I said, the man is a liar. He has poor ethics. He knows very well that “submit” is exactly what the men of the Southern Baptist Convention mean. It is also, probably, what the women of the Southern Baptist Convention mean. They really believe that the immorality of our day and age is largely the result of women living independent little lives without any men around to make them submit to their leadership. Why don’t these people shows some guts and admit that it means exactly what we think it means?

CNN was more appalling than the Baptist. It cut for commercials about every 30 seconds. You might think there is a legal limit to commercials on U.S. television, but that’s not true. U.S. networks can broadcast as many commercials as they want. And if Larry King or any other broadcaster wants to keep his job, he better resist the temptation to look over to his director, drop his jaw, and say something like, “What? Another commercial already? We just had a whole pile of them?”

Ani DiFranco: the Music Industry at Work

Your Tax Dollars at Work

Ever since the 1960’s, becoming a rock star has been the dream of millions of teenagers. To be rich, famous, and important. To be celebrated, worshipped, lusted for… What could be better? And for those who actually have some musical talent and the drive and determination to stay in the business long enough, the offer of a contract from a record company represents the ultimate dream come true. Who can resist it?

Well, the record companies know that. When they see a young, naïve talent emerging, and they think he or she might be successful enough to become a big star, they offer this person a contact and urge them to sign. If this person is smart enough to question the terms of the contract, the record company is often quick to inform this person that there are thousands of other hungry young talents out there and if he or she doesn’t agree to the terms and sign in a hurry, they will offer it to someone else. More often than not, they sign.

A lot of these contracts are pretty brutal. A lot of singers who you might think of as quite successful, because they have had hit records and performed on television, often come to the astonishing realization that they are broke. How can that be, they ask? I sold a million records last year. Where did my money go? The answer is that the record company has been deducting all kinds of mysterious expenses from their royalties. At this stage, the smarter talents bring in their own lawyers and accountants to examine the deal. What they frequently discover is that they are being mercilessly ripped off. With clever accounting and shrewd lawyers, music publishers are able to find hundreds of ways of adding “expenses” to an artist’s account. Furthermore, the artist finds out that there is very little they can do about the terms of the contract. It’s too late. They signed it. They are now obligated to continue to produce records for music industry executives they have rightly come to regard as vampires.

Ani DiFranco, bless her little heart, was smart enough not to sign. Instead, she formed her own record company– Righteous Babe Records– and is doing quite well, thank you. She discovered, to her surprise, that she could actually make pretty good money without the record company’s huge promotional machinery behind her, and without a beer company sponsoring her tours. How so? Well, you see, Ani gets to keep a fair share of the money you and I pay for each of her CD’s. No surprise promotional fees. No hidden charges. No mysterious administration expenses.

Well, bless her little heart again because when the big record companies saw how successful Ani was, they all came a’callin’ offering her big bucks to step up to the Major Leagues, Ani said NO. Politely, we hope.

Which brings me to a piece of news that filled me with anger and disgust. You see, some of those young, talented artists found that by declaring bankruptcy, they could extricate themselves from those evil contracts and negotiate new, more honest agreements with other record companies. It was the only weapon they had, against an industry and executives we can only regard with the utmost contempt. Well, Congress is considering a major revision of the bankruptcy laws. And low and behold, here come the music industry lobbyists, with big checks in their hands, demanding that the new law include a provision preventing these artists from using bankruptcy to escape their draconian contracts. Most of the Republicans, needing more of those big, fat lobbyist checks in order to get re-elected next November, were more than happy to oblige. Some, though not all, of the Democrats fought the amendment.

Your tax dollars at work, friends. Shame on the recording industry. Shame on the Republicans who sucked up to this deal. Shame on the voters who keep insisting, in poll after poll, that they want campaign reform, and then go ahead an elect the idiot who has the most money for TV ads. Don’t you realize where these liars get their campaign money from?!

We’re all familiar by now with the Woody Allen scandal. Woody Allen, the 56-year-old director, was caught having an affair with his adoptive step-daughter, Soon Li. Mia divorced Woody and sought custody of the children– excluding Soon Li, presumably.

Our society is so confused about sex. We don’t know what the rules are anymore. The various governments now award survivor benefits to gay spouses; couples bicker in court over frozen embryos; a woman sues the company that makes Viagra because the drug enabled her newly potent husband to leave her and find a new lover; an “independent” (read “Republican Toady”) investigator spends $30 million to discover whether or not sex between consenting adults took place in the White House; a 30-year-old grade school teacher has an affair–and a child–with a 13-year-old male student, and is sent to jail for seven years.

The one thing we do know about sex is that our society has a hysterical obsession with it. Freud would have observed that this hysterical obsession is due to a profound discomfort with the subject, and, indeed, with our own bodies.

The truth is, our society is grossly immature and childish about sex. We want it more than anything else and we get upset and envious when we think someone else is getting more than we are.

Why do you suppose preachers preach more about promiscuous sex than any other sin, including materialism, greed, and racism? Because sex is private. Everybody in the congregation can sit there comfortably and pretend to feel righteous indignation because they know that nobody knows what sexual sins lurk in their own hearts. If, on the other hand, the minister points out that our ruthless greed and materialism and conspicuous consumption is driving one third of world into abject poverty and starvation… well, gee… hope nobody notices my Cadillac or my Hummer in the parking lot, or my three tv sets, or my Rolex watch.

So Woody Allen has sex with his adoptive step-daughter. Some clarity here: apparently Soon Li is the adoptive/foster daughter of Mia Farrow. After Woody and her became an item, he sort of became Soon Li’s “step-foster” father. So when Woody has sex with Soon Li, is this incest?

Well, not really. Incest is sex between a man and his biological daughter. I think our society is relatively straight on that: not allowed. Ever.

So, what is wrong with Woody having an affair with Soon Li? Well, he is in a position of trust over her, and she is a vulnerable young woman, half his age (or less). We frown upon that. We make it downright illegal in many cases, say, for example, a teacher and a fifteen-year-old student.

But wait, Soon Li is 20-years-old. So she is the age of consent. So is Woody Allen, we think. Did Soon Li have a choice or was she pressured? It’s hard to believe she is not able to walk away whenever she wants. All right. Consensual. Like Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton. In both cases, powerful, famous men had consensual adulterous relationships with young, naïve, but awe-struck women. I don’t know of any law against that, because, in our society, adultery is not illegal. It is grounds for a nasty divorce settlement, but not a criminal offense.

Well, let’s look at one more little aspect of this case. I’ll bet a lot of those tabloid readers don’t remember that Mia Farrow was once involved in a little scandal of her own. Mia, you see, is the daughter of John Farrow and Margaret O’Sullivan. Frank Sinatra was a friend of the family, more than twice her age back in 1965. And guess what? Mia and Frank had an affair. Indeed, they were briefly married, until, I think, Frank realized she was a Beatles fan. Since Frank was a friend of the family and more than twice Mia’s age, it might be fair to ask if he wasn’t sort of a father figure (or step-father figure) who took advantage of a position of trust to have a sexual relationship with a vulnerable young woman.

One last weird note. Frank Sinatra used to sing a song called “My Way”, which is the anthem of macho egocentric self-sufficiency, but which Frank, insufficient as he was, was not able to write himself. Canadian Paul Anka wrote the song, along with many others like the immortally offensive “Having My Baby”. Paul Anka broke into the business with a fabulously successful single called “Diana”, which, we were told, was a love song about his baby-sitter.

Just imagine a party at some Hollywood mansion. You show up with your wife and your daughters and Jerry Falwell, and circulate among these guests: Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow, Woody Allen, Jimmy & Tammy Faye Baker, Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton, Paul Anka, Princess Diana and the other Diana, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Charlton Heston (with his gun), and, just for fun, Dr. Ruth. The leading lights of Western Civilization.

Hey everybody… let’s play twister….

God and Frank

I often wonder what ultra-conservative “leaders” like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson think of Frank Sinatra. My guess is that they liked Frank. He was the very embodiment of reactionary, repressive, hierarchical thinking. God bestowed that wondrous voice upon Frankie and made him a star. Therefore he was entitled to special treatment, body guards, limos, mansions, numerous wives (including, astoundingly, Mia Farrow), the best suite at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Anyone who thought otherwise was a radical, and dangerous to God’s good appointed order.

Then Frank sings “My Way”. The irony is, of course, is that “My Way” is probably one of the most anti-Christian pop songs ever recorded. It is one of the most explicit statements of utter self-sufficiency and moral relativism.

Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour? There is something wildly comical about the fact that, in his later years, even with the assistance of a teleprompter, poor addled old Frankie couldn’t even get the words right. All those fans paid big bucks to hear the old crooner mumble incoherently while he tried to remember what city he was in. The old man, trying to assert once again his own personal macho myth of self-sufficiency, needed all the help he could get.

Well, who knows? Maybe Pat Robertson is a Dylan fan instead. Maybe James Dobson comes home from a long day of ranting about the evils of toleration and compassion and flips “Sticky Fingers” on the turntable for an hour of relaxation. Maybe Jerry Falwell hops into his limo and says to the driver, “hey, you got any Ani DiFranco tapes in there?” And maybe Jimmy Swaggart, when nobody’s looking, pops in a CD of cousin Jerry Lee’s “Great Balls of Fire”.

Well, when I get a chance, I’ll look up some of these guys’ web sites and see if I can get any of them to respond to a couple of simple questions: do you like Frank Sinatra? Does he represent to you, as a Christian, a morally acceptable style of entertainment? If you really believe that God appointed you to be a spokesman for the Christian community how come you have rigged your organization so that you are accountable to no one but yourself? Where do you guys get those awful haircuts? When did you run out of Brylcreem? Explain to me why you drive around in a limo surrounded by bodyguards while claiming to be a follower of a man who surrounded himself with the poor and the outcasts and rejected material wealth at every opportunity?

The Sacrifice Bunt

The Sacrifice

Time and time again, if you are a baseball, fan you will see the following: a team comes up to bat in the late innings of a ball game. The lead-off batter gets on base with a walk or single. The next batter comes up and the manager instructs him to “sacrifice”: bunt the ball to the right side of the infield for a sure out in order to advance the runner to second base. If he succeeds, the colour commentator will rave about him “getting the job done” and “advancing the runner”. After the next two batters strike out and fly out, no one ever says, “Gee, I guess giving up that out on the sacrifice was pretty stupid, eh?”

Does the sacrifice bunt make sense? It must work. Almost every manager in the league does it, often two or three times a game. If everyone does it, it must be right.

The sacrifice bunt emerged as a strategy at a time in baseball history before there was such a thing as a designated hitter. Late in a close game, if a runner got on and the pitcher was the next batter, it made sense, because:

a) pitchers didn’t hit very well (a .200 average was considered good), and,
b) pitchers didn’t run very fast, making them very susceptible to the double play, and,
c) it was usually a good time to bring in a relief pitcher anyway. But nowadays, American League teams use it just as often.

It is possible, with a bit of computer programming and lots of free time, to create a “simulation” of thousands of baseball games. I set up such a simulation once to test the theory that the sacrifice bunt is a stupid strategy. I ran thousands of games in which, after the sixth inning, every time the lead-off batter got on, the manager used the sacrifice bunt. Then I ran the same series of games with no sacrifice bunt. Since there is no way of knowing which hitter exactly is coming up to bat in these situations, I created an average team with a set of batting and on-base percentages that reflected the abilities of a normal range of players.

It didn’t surprise me that the second simulation showed many, many more runs scored than the simulations using the sacrifice bunt. Consider this: the following batter, in most situations, will have an on base percentage (hits + walks) in the neighborhood of least .325. So roughly 1/3 of the time, he will advance the runner anyway, without giving up an out. The next batter has the same 1/3 chance of advancing the runner without giving up an out. And so does the next. And… here is the key point… so does the next batter. Without a sacrifice, you still have three outs to work with. With the sacrifice, you only have two. How significant is that? Consider some other factors. The next batter will, of course, often hit a double, a triple, or a home run instead of a single. With the runner on first, the first baseman has to hold the runner on, leaving a gap in the infield. The pitcher is often distracted by the runner. A fast runner has a chance of stealing the base anyway– I saw Tim Johnson use a sacrifice when he had Alex Gonzalez– a good base-stealer–on first. Finally, with the runner on second and one out, if the next hitter is “hot”, he will get walked anyway, setting up a potential double play. And don’t forget that without a runner at first, the first base man doesn’t have to cover the runner.

I’m not saying the sacrifice never works. But a lot of people make the foolish assumption that the odds of getting the hit you need to score a run are roughly the same after a sacrifice as they are before. In fact, they are substantially less, because one less batter is going to get a chance to drive in that run, and because the sacrifice ensures that the “batter” following a lead-off single or double invariably “hits” a single. In other words, over a season, or even a short series, the sacrifice will fail to achieve it’s desired objective– scoring a run– far more often than simply letting the next three batters do their job.

Well, if a sacrifice is so stupid, why do managers do it? The answer is simpler than you might imagine. Consider the World Series Champions of 1992 and 1993, the Toronto Blue Jays, who were managed by Cito Gaston. I don’t think anybody in this world would think that Cito was a smarter manager than Bobby Cox, one of the shrewdest skippers in the league. Why did he win? He simply put good talent on the field and let them play the way they were capable of. He put Roberto Alomar at second base and watched him make unbelievable fielding plays. He penciled in Devon White in centre field and watched him swallow up every fly ball hit there. He had the finest defensive third baseman in the league that year in Kelly Gruber (’92), and he had terrific pitchers, including Henke, Ward, and Wells, who didn’t give up a single run in relief until the final game. He won in spite of his questionable management. He won in 1993 in spite of the idiotic managerial decision to let Jimmy Key leave as a free agent and so they could retain Jack Morris, who contributed nothing to the 1993 victory. He won because Paul Molitor, John Olerud, Roberto Alomar, and Devon White, had terrific years.

Well, what exactly, then, is the role of the manager? The role of the manager is to call for the sacrifice bunt. What if the sacrifice bunt is a stupid strategy? Then what would the manager do? Send for the closer in the 9th inning of close games?

It’s like the famous question asked of Keith Richards, of the Rolling Stones: “Why don’t you sing more often?”

Keith replied, “then what would Mick do?”

Novell, Software, and Insurance

We recently thought we lost our license disk for Novell 4.11 Intranetware Server. When I called Novell, they nicely informed me that I had to pay $100 for a replacement disk. I told them that that was a little pricey for a disk that cost about $1 to make. They explained that they had a bunch of complete idiots working for them and it took them hours and hours to correctly copy a single disk.

Well, not exactly. But pretty close.

What I thought was interesting was that they wanted me to sign a form declaring that our insurance company had refused to pay for the cost of replacing the Novell software, total of about $5,000.

Excuse me!

We already paid for the license. We didn’t lose the license– we lost the disk with the license software on it. Why, exactly, should our insurance company pay for something we have not lost?

I had hoped that with Microsoft playing the heavy, companies like Novell might take advantage by trying to build up a reputation for fairness and honesty, but this little stratagem stinks big time.

The Missionary Position

The statistics keep changing– depending on who is doing the counting– but there can be little doubt that there are now more Christians in Africa, Asia, and China, than there are in Europe or the United States. So why does the United States and Canada keep sending missionaries to the “Third World”?

The answer is, probably, because we can.

I remember reading a fairly detailed story about a large charity organization that raised funds for research into a certain childhood illness. It might have been polio or something. Anyway, the disease was finally virtually eradicated.

So what happened to the charitable organization? They had a big party, right? They laid off all their staff, sold off their buildings, shredded their internal memos, and disappeared, right?

Wrong. The organization simply adopted a new cause and began raising money for it. The tools were all in place. Jobs were at stake. The decision of what to do was made by the people whose jobs depended on the continued existence of the organization.

Well, obviously, we haven’t found a cure for apostasy yet, so, in that sense, missionary organizations should continue their work. The trouble is, they are doing all this work over-seas, not here.

The real reason we don’t send missionaries to New York and Chicago and Paris and Toronto is that we haven’t yet found a way to present the gospel message in a compelling way to a literate, educated, and somewhat cynical population. Why not? Because the church chose certain battlefields many years ago, and they were the wrong battlefields. We chose to fight the doctrine of evolution, and we lost. We chose to fight the discovery of dinosaur fossils, and we lost. We chose to fight the scientific conclusions about the age of the earth, and we lost. Now we are fighting a battle for the morals and cultural values of our society, and we pretend that we never lost any of those earlier battles. We tell people, “take our word for it: we’re right”. But we haven’t earned the right to invite anyone to take our word for anything. We haven’t explained yet why we fought the idea of dinosaurs so energetically, and now we try to explain that Noah actually took dinosaurs with him on the ark. We haven’t explained how Noah could have saved two of every creature in his ark when it wasn’t even big enough to carry two of every single species of fly.

I am told that no other world religion, Buddhism, Islam, or Confucianism, for example, entertains a conflict between the evidence of our senses and the evidence of sacred scripture or tradition. And that is why, the educated, professional classes of Buddhist and Islamic societies are full participants in the religious life of their nations.

But here in North America, and in Europe, religion–Christianity–has virtually proclaimed: forget everything you learned about truth and science and knowledge, and accept these doctrines without question…

Our Enemy, Iraq, Straddles the Globe

And we shall have a mighty victory which the world will celebrate with trumpets and cake.

Here is the map of Iraq published recently in Time Magazine, to get you all excited about the coming victory:

iraq.jpg (10466 bytes)

And here is a more objective rendering of the same area:

world2.jpg (9547 bytes)

Notice something?

Yes, Time Magazine has made Iraq much, much bigger than it should be.  That is Time Magazine, my friend, tireless cheerleader for the American military.

The Contrary Bible

Some people believe that the bible is “literally” inerrant– every word is true, no matter what it says.  Then they’ll tell you that, as good Christians, we have to reduce immigration and lower the minimum wage.  They also believe that if you question even one word of scripture, you thereby call into question everything the bible says.  I dispute that.   I believe most people with common sense will find the bible more believable if we all acknowledge that some verses just don’t jive.

Another Website on Contradictory Bible Passages

God stops the sun from continuing it’s “orbit” long enough so Joshua can win the battle.  I’ll look it up when I get the chance.

Can rabbits chew their cud?  Nope.  But the author of Leviticus and Deuteronomy thinks they do. Lev 11:4, Deut 14:7

Exodus 20:5 says that children, unto the third and fourth generation, will be punished for the sins of the father.  Ezekiel 18 says “the son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son.”

Matthew 20:20  The mother of James and John asked Jesus to reserve a place of honor for her sons.  Mark, however, says James and John didn’t need their mom’s help.

Luke 4:31ff  Jesus, after preaching in Capernaum, asked his disciples if they were willing to follow him.  Mark 1:16-21 says he asked this question before preaching in Capernaum.

Matthew 10:10, Luke 9:3  Did Jesus tell his disciples to take nothing with them on their journey, or a rod?

Who killed Goliath?

You thought it was David?  Check 2 Samuel 21:19.

Numbers 18:22  “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination”

Numbers 19:16: “you shall not go around as a slanderer”.

In regard to illegal aliens (Mexicans):

Numbers 19:33 “When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as a citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Gee, I hope Pat Robertson is out there campaigning for reformed immigration laws.

Appropriate punishment for adultery:

Numbers 20:10  “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.”  Did you read that Mike Warnke and Bob Larson?  I’ll bet you did.

On Mules

Numbers 19:19: “You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind.” (Mules are a cross-breed.)

On Haircuts

Numbers 19:27:  “You shall not round off  the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard.”

On counting accurately:

Judges 7.12:  “The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the East lay along the valley as thick as locusts; and their camels were without number, countless as the sand on the seashore.”

On Monogamy

Judges 9:30  “Now Gideon had seventy sons, his own offspring, for he had many wives.  His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech.”

On Mass Murder and War Crimes

Joshua 11:20 “For it was the Lord’s doing to harden their hearts so that they would come against Israel in battle, in order that they might be utterly destroyed, and might receive no mercy, but be exterminated, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

On wearing clothes while you work:

John 21: 7  “When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the sea.”

On the evils of communism.

The next time someone tells you that the Bible supports free enterprise, ask them to explain this verse.  Of course, you shouldn’t be explaining anything in the Bible, right?  Isn’t this rather clear all by itself?

Acts 2: 44 “All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need.”  and Acts 4:32:  “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.”

To the next big donor:

“May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money!” (Acts 8:21)

On women in church office:

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints…(Romans 16:1)  Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus, and who risked their necks for my life…”

On Losers

“God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” (Corinthians 1:27)

On masturbation

“To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am.  But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry.  For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.” (I Corinthians 7:8)

On the future:

I Corinthians 7:29ff implies that the world will end shortly.

On compromising with culture

“I have become all things to all people that that I might by all means save some.”  (I Cor. 9:22)

On slavery.

“Were you a slave when called?  Do not be concerned about it.   Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever.”  (I Corinthians 7:21)

On hats.

“For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels”  (I Cor. 11:10)

On uncompromising spiritual leaders:

“Love… does not insist on its own way.”(I Cor. 13:5)

On speaking in tongues.

“If no one is there to interpret, let them be silent in church and speak to themselves and to God.”

On women in church:

“Women are to be silent in church.  For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as the law also says”.  (I Cor. 14:34)

On Faith vs. Works

“Just as Abraham ‘believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, so, you see, those who believe are the descendants of Abraham.”   (Galatians 3:6)

Was not Abraham, our ancestor, justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the alter?”  James 2:21  “You see that  a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.”  (James 2:24)

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?”  (James 2:14)

On the gospel of wealth:

“Is it not the rich who oppress you?  Is it not they who drag you into court?”  (James 2:6)

and…

“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you.  Your riches have rotted and your clothes are moth-eaten.  Your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will bve evidence against you and it will eat your flesh like fire….”

On the minimum wage…

Listen, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.”  (James 5:1-5)

On huge expensive churches and office buildings…

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”  (James 1:27)

On Respect for Bill Clinton

“For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.”  Peter 2:13

On Slavery and Matrimony

“Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle, but also those who are harsh.”  Peter 2:18 … wives, in the same way, accept the authority of your husbands…  (Peter 3:1)

On the Second Coming, the Last Judgment:

“The end of all things is near…”  Peter 4:7

“Children, it is the last hour!  As you have heard that anti-christ is coming, so now many antichrists have come.  From this we know that it is the last hour.”   1 John 18.

For they (the apostles) said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, indulging their own ungodly lusts.”  It is these worldly people devoid of the spirit, who are causing divisions.  Jude 13:18

On alcohol

“No longer drink only water, but take a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.”  1 Timothy 5:23

More on Alcohol:

“Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”  Proverbs 31:10-31

Was the Sermon on the Mount, or the plain:  Matt 5:1, Luke 6:17.

 

Coda

Children, it is the last hour!  As you have heard that anti-christ is coming, so now many antichrists have come.  From this we know that it is the last hour.”   1 John 18

It’s the end of the world as we know it.