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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's not funny

It’s not funny

I have commented several times that I think we are becoming a nation of easily offended people. Everyone seems to be looking for a way to be offended. I believe I should be careful not to give offense and very slow to take offense. In fact, in Proverbs 19:20, we are commanded to avoid taking offense. And certainly we should do our best to put the best construction on everything. However, when it is obvious that offense is clearly intended, it’s understandable that offense is taken.

When it comes to bumper stickers that read, "So Many Rightwing Christians, So Few Lions," I just sigh and wonder how it is that those who claim to be so tolerant and denounce hatred are often the most intolerant of all. Such a bumper sticker (which was seen recently by my niece in Seattle) isn’t funny. It’s intended to be offensive. I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, but why is it always open season on Christians? Is it funny that men, women, and children were eaten alive by Lions? Are the folks who created this bumper sticker descendents of those who cheered when the Lions ate Christians alive in ancient Rome?

I am offended even more by those who desecrate an ancient Christian symbol, the fish. Some folks choose to put the outline of a fish on their car (I’m not one of them) as a witness that they are followers of the Christ. The fish symbol goes back to ancient times when Christians were openly persecuted and met in the catacombs for fellowship. In those days, many men, women, and children died horrible deaths because of their faith in Jesus.

That’s why the symbol of the fish is so special to Christians. They want to honor these brave men, women, and children who suffered so much because they were followers of the Way. Putting a fish symbol on their lapel or on their car is their way of honoring their Christian ancestors and quietly and un-offensively telling others that they believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Apparently putting this small outline of a fish on a car is just too much for a society that is in your face with pornography, vulgarity, and obscenity. Today it’s hard to go to the mall or walk down a city street without some lout using every foul word he (or she) knows. It doesn’t make any difference whatsoever if you are with your wife or with young children. Their uncouth rant goes on at full throat. And apparently no one is offended.

Yet, because some Christians seek to put the symbol of a fish on their car, others openly mock their religion by putting "Darwin" in the center of the fish. This desecration of an ancient Christian symbol offends me. I’m not saying that someone who believes in the theory of evolution can’t be a Christian, but clearly the intent is to mock and belittle Christian beliefs. 

Perhaps I’m overreacting. Perhaps the folks who have done this are not aware of the importance of this symbol to Christians. Let’s hope so. Or perhaps they should consider practicing what they preach – tolerance of others opinions, views, faith and practices. 

A free society continues to exist because you and I and the majority of others in our society practice self-restraint and exercise respect for others. When that majority no longer exists, our society breaks down and the power of government replaces our self restraint and self discipline. And when that happens our freedom vanishes.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some Really Good News

Some Really Good News

I read some very good, very important news in The Washington Times of September 25, 2007. It is far, far more important than all the huffing and puffing and wringing of hands by politicians who say they seek energy independence, but then pass an energy bill that does nothing whatsoever to get us down that road. 

The big news is that nuclear energy is making a comeback. Quoting from the Times, "‘NRG Energy, Inc. will submit the first application for a new nuclear reactor in the US in nearly 30 years,’ the company’s chief executive said yesterday." Hooray!

But there’s more good news. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission went on to say that they expect a minimum of six more applications this year by the Constellation Energy Group, Inc., Duke Energy Corporation, and Dominion Resources, Inc., among others. I have been waiting for this development for years. I always thought it was inevitable.

Nuclear power is the safest, least expensive source of electrical power in the world and it is completely nonpolluting. Moreover, the US has abundant uranium resources. That means we don’t need to go to Saudi Arabia for our needs.

Our nuclear power plants have always been safe. The nonscientific types always wave their arms and point to the Three Mile Island problem. But in fact, no one died at Three Mile Island and no one was hurt. American corporations, together with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have always put safety first. If our safeguards had been in place at Chernobyl, even that melt down would not have caused the devastation it did.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out several years back, much of the problem with nuclear energy was caused by the companies themselves who insisted on designing every power plant from the ground up. In other words, a power company could not go to Westinghouse and buy a nuclear power plant like they would buy a gas turbine. Each one was unique and thus the price of construction and the time for approval by the NRC was incredibly long. It would be like you and I having a car designed from scratch each time we bought a car. Instead of costing $30,000 it would cost $300,000.

It appears the nuclear power industry has learned that lesson and will be building nuclear power plants to replace the polluting fossil fuel plants across our nation. This is a huge step toward energy independence, less pollution, sufficient electrical supply (instead of rationing), and controlling the cost of electricity.

Again, I say hooray for the engineers and business leaders who once again are providing a practical and realistic solution to our energy needs. Now, if we can only beat the kooky politicians off with a stick.