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The author of this blog has moved his efforts over to a new group blog. Please visit The Arizona Growler.

O'Hara Factor
Monday, May 31, 2004

Children's book comments on Clinton impeachment

I recently picked up my brother's copy of Don't Know Much About American History, a book written by Kenneth C. Davis, published by Scholastic, and targeted towards children. Here's an excerpt what he says about the Clinton impeachment:

"Clinton did things that most people considered immoral. He also lied in a court case, which is usually considered a crime"

Most people consider it immoral? Perjury is usually considered a crime? What are they teaching these kids?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Boiling down the progressive taxation issue: Whose money is it?

It's been more than a week since I had a debate with a friend regarding progressive income taxation versus flat income taxation. We went off on many subissues, including that some costs aren't dependent on income, and that some people aren't able to support families. My good friend argued that individuals have the right to raise a family even if they can't afford it, preferring to have the government subsidize it. I argued that such people who can't afford to raise families have no business raising a family. They need to have the personal responsibility to plan their families and not have children whom they can't afford to feed, clothe, and educate. Nowhere in the Constitution is it stated that one of the government's jobs is to subsidize procreation.

I don't think either of us moved much from our original stances before the debate (and yes, I do have liberal friends, ladies and gentlemen), but one issue really stood out in my mind. At one point, he asked me who is printed on the money. The question puzzled me. Well, that depends on which bill you're holding.

Of course, on all US bills, the name of our republic is gloriously emblazoned in commanding font. The argument goes that the money ultimately belongs to the United States, a point to which I must dissent. Money belongs to the people who earn it. Period. Until the left realizes that money belongs to the people who earn it, the concept of progressive taxation will continue to plague us.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Depraved!

MGM is coming out with a new motion picture entitled "Saved!" on May 28, starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, and Patrick Fugit. The movie is a comedy taking place at a Christian high school in which a boyfriend tells his girl that "he thinks he might be gay" (Synopsis).

Synopsis per the official website:

"Good girl" Mary (Jena Malone) and her domineering best friend, Hilary Faye (Mandy Moore), are starting their senior year at the top of the social food chain at American Eagle Christian High School -- that is until Mary's boyfriend tells her he thinks he might be gay. When Jesus appears to her in a vision, she heeds his message to "do everything she can to help him" [sic] and to her horror, she ends up pregnant. Suddenly, Mary begins to question everything she's believed in, and Hilary Faye and her devoted "disciples" (including Heather Matarazzo) turn against her. As an outcast, Mary finds herself alone until she's befriended by the school's other pariahs: Hilary Faye's cynical, wheelchair-bound brother Roland (Macaulay Culkin); the principal's skater heartthrob son, Patrick (Patrick Fugit); and the high school's lone Jew, an exuberant rebel named Cassandra (Eva Amurri). In this sweetly subversive comedy, a group of outsiders band together to navigate the treacherous halls of high school and make it to graduation, ultimately learning more about themselves, finding faith in unexpected places, and realizing what it truly means to be Saved!"

To me, this synopsis alone sounds suspicious. I thought Christianity was about faith in Christ, not just "being saved." It's really a vague and bland term. The only mention of Christ in the whole synopsis is that the school just happens to be Christian. I never thought the possibility of eternal punishment in hell was a comedic matter, either.

I'm not alone in my doubts. Assist News Service made the following news release on Tuesday the 11th:

HOLLYWOOD, CA (ANS) – Ted Baehr, world-renowned media scholar and founder of the Christian Film & Television Commission™ ministry, says that the new Hollywood movie SAVED!, to be released May 28 by MGM, is a sad, bigoted, anti-Christian movie that mocks the Christian faith.

He urged other religious leaders, including Jewish and Moslem leaders, to warn their constituents about the bigoted movie, which stars Mandy Moore and Macaulay Culkin in a story about self-righteous Christian youths in an uptight Christian school.

“SAVED! is a hateful, politically correct movie,” Dr. Baehr declared. “It is being heavily marketed to the community it mocks to lead Christian youth astray and make them resent their own faith.”

“The one character who tries to preach the Gospel in the movie,” he noted, “is actually the villain. The heroine Mary, played by Jena Malone, has a vision that Jesus tells her to fornicate with the school hunk in order to save him from homosexuality. At the end, Mary learns that her only true friends are Cassandra, a irreverent Jewish girl who claims to have been a stripper, and the villain’s brother, who denies being a Christian and lusts after the stripper.”

Dr. Baehr adds, “Cassandra is the real heroine who turns Mary away from the uptight Christian students who believe in faith, values, and the power of prayer. Imagine if this movie were set in an Orthodox Jewish school with faithful Jewish children cast as the villains and a Christian girl shows how legalistic the Jewish girls are. Or, what if it were set in an Islamic school with faithful Muslims cast as the villains and a Christian or Jewish Girl exposes how legalistic the Muslims are? The outcry in the press would be tremendous! Not to mention the righteous outcry from Jews or Muslims!

“Looking at it from the point of view of other faiths,” Dr. Baehr continued, “highlights how bigoted the movie SAVED! is and reveals how MGM is marketing it to Christian children to try to divorce them from their faith!

We've had more than our fair share of grossly-inaccurate hollywood portrayals of God and faith before, well illustrated by films such as "Bruce Almighty." We have seen direct mockery of protestant Christianity before. During a scene in "Catch Me If You Can", Leonardo DiCaprio's character confesses to his fiancee that he's not really what he claimed to be and is leaving. The fiancee isn't concerned with his leaving. She cries "You're not Lutheran?" The videogame GTA2 also makes direct mockery of Christianity, though the mockery seems more targeted at rich, passionate televangelists. For instance, one must have $50,000 and go to the church in order to get "saved." (Get it? Haha. Saved. :P) If you have the money, you hear "Another soul saved!" with cheering in the background. If not, you hear "Damnation! No donation? No salvation!" In addition, church signs feature slogans such as "Get stuck in Rev. Erse."

Christian Spotlight on the Movies offers the following opening in its review of "Saved!".

Brian Dannelly's upcoming film, Saved! is a comedy-drama centered around the fictional Eagle Mountain Christian High School, where Jesus' name is spouted as if He's a popular soft drink — complete with advertising buttons ready to be pinned onto anyone's backpack and make them eternally popular.

The mostly white students live within wealthy suburbs, venturing into the city only long enough to picket abortion clinics.

Audience members are asked to believe this is a community where one might win the "Christian Home Decorating Award of the Year" to wild acclaim. During high school assemblies, the one teen who rebelliously mocks her Christian classmates is targeted by a spotlight, as the school principal asks if anyone wants to get saved. "Getting saved" in Saved! is a flip decision that a three-year-old who knows no better may make. True repentance for sin, freedom from its bonds, and laying down one's life for your friends are none to be seen here.

In fact, based on this movie, one could easily get the idea that calling yourself an evangelical Christian puts you in the categories of judgmental, rude, violent, and stupid. It comes as no surprise that the credits give special thanks to George H. Smith for his book, Atheism: The Case Against God.

You have my insistence to read the entire review, after which you yourself may feel like yelling "Damnation!"

My conclusion is that this a bunch of anti-Christian crap. While there are Christian hypocrites, no doubt, to cast such a stereotype upon all Christian is basically a blow below the belt disguised as a wholesome, spiritually-uplifting motion picture.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Jordan finds 20 tons of chemical weapons, foils Al-Qaeda attack, media silent

Larry Elder points out in a recent column that Jordan recently foiled a chemical attack by Al-Qaeda involving twenty tons of chemical weapons. Where are the media on this one? Better yet, why hasn't anybody in the White House or the Capitol analyzed this yet? I suppose you could try to tell me where I might find a chemical weapons laboratory anywhere near Jordan? Hello?

Congressman Pete Stark

Noble Eagle reports that Congressman Pete Stark of Fremont, California recently left an outrageous message on a constituent's answering machine regarding a fax the constituent sent. KSFO has all the details, and has been repeatedly playing the message on the airwaves.

Fun Fact: Michael Moore

This miserable failure is really fat. How can you be fat and be anti-capitalist at the same time? You can't get that fat with your own socialism garden, can you? One must conclude that he eats evil capitalist food.

The above is my response to a call by the Alliance for fun facts about Michael Moore that he should put in his new film, Fahrenheit 911.

Tucson Citizen: Scooters banned from city streets

motor scooter

I'm sick and tired of the government trying to save my life. Here's another example.

The Tucson Citizen reports that the Tucson City Council has banned motor scooters from city streets. For pete's sake, I don't care if some idiot decides to ride a motor scooter without a helmet. It's none of my business. The only way in which it would be my business is if I have to pick up the tab because you got hurt. It's not my responsibility to pay police officers to protect somebody else's health.

I have friends who use motor scooters on campus, and it seems unclear at this point whether they would be allowed on the roads on campus. Everybody beware.

Monday, May 10, 2004

ASU State Press: ASA leaders get trip to strip club off student money

ASUA

ASU State Press columnist Eric Spratling just posted regarding a report that Arizona Students Association leaders visited a Tucson strip club when student money was funding the trip. Among these ASA leaders was your ASUA President Alistair Chapman. He's supposedly our Chief Spokesperson according to his web page. Seems odd to me.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Alistair Chapman has personally clarified the strip club incident. In fact, he was trying to prevent future incidents!

Office of Instructonal Assessment Releases Teacher-Course Evaluations, Drew Milsom not listed

Milsom

The Office of Instructional Assessment has released results of the recent Teacher-Course Evaluations, but I didn't see the archnemesis of my friends in PHYS 141, Dr. Drew Milsom. Interesting.

Get government out of marriage

A few months ago, I had a conversation with a good friend and fellow IVer about the conservative movement in general. One of his points against it is that it sometimes clings fervently to a certain ideology for the sake of “being conservative.” In saying this, he was right in many respects, one of which is the whole debate over governmental recognition of homosexual marriage.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not about to abandon my principles. “Homosexual marriage” is just as much of an oxy-moron to me as “partial annihilation” and “Windows security.” However, one must wonder what the government really has to do with marriage. Surely, on our income taxes, we have the option of filing with a spouse. We get marriage licenses from the government. When couples divorce, they register the divorce with the government. When couples remarry, they get another marriage license.

Wait a minute. God forbids divorce and remarriage (granted, with the exception of certain cases). Shouldn't that go on the same list as homosexuality? The logical conclusion of the “conservative” position on homosexual marriage is that divorce and remarriage should also be banned, as this—like homosexuality—is directly against a commandment of God. The divorce rate is higher than the homosexuality rate, so presumably an anti-divorce law would be good for society. This works even better against fornication. That's a sexual sin, too. Let's ban it and take away the kids. Again, this is only by the logical conclusion of the “conservative” argument.

The question is: Where did Adam and Eve get their marriage license? Moreover, what business does the government have in recognizing marriage?

To the divorce argument above, one might say that the government shouldn't intrude into that aspect of our private lives. That's right. They shouldn't. Neither should the government intrude into the private lives of homosexuals.

As a result of government regulation and intrusion, marriage has become a financial and legal status instead of Holy Matrimony between man, woman, and God. Marriage licenses don't cost that much, and you and I can save on taxes and get benefits from our government jobs. Will you marry me? Anyone?

Bottom line: Governmental regulation will never convince a homosexual that homosexuality is a sin. Governmental regulation will never convince some couples that it's not the right time to have kids.

Get the government out and God in. Then this debate might get somewhere. After all, as long as my God recognizes my marriage, why should I care whether the government does?

Sorry, Xanga

Looks like Blogger has won my brain over. I can't stand Xanga's lack of customization. Nonetheless, I'll keep the account so that all of you can find me here and so that I can post on your Xangas. Poor you.