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This web page tells the things I like and really dislike, and thereby a little about me.
Where I am: Endorsements Where I shall not go: Disapprovals Where I have been: Conditional Endorsements
EndorsementsThe following is a list of people, organizations, books and software that I endorse. Earlier drafts of this page referred to this group as "Unconditional Endorsements," but I suppose that only the first entry in the list is unconditional.
JesusIt is pretty cool that following this guy gives us freedom to be good and frees us from terror about being bad. Eternal benefits, too! Knowing him also causes things like human suffering and even science to make more sense!
VRPO Internet radioThis is the coolest internet radio station. I think it's in the Netherlands but it plays English music. Kind of like new wave stuff, maybe "mellow punk". If you think that Bjork has an alluring voice, you'll enjoy the ability to hear her at least once an hour! Better than any commercial radio station I've ever heard! And I've never heard an ad on it! While I don't mind ads, many other internet radio services offer ads first and foremost, with a little music sprinkled in. Furthermore, this station is low bandwidth: other commercial-intensive stations often refuse me service due to my low bandwidth. Again, it's high quality music that you won't hear anywhere else, but you cannot listen to it every day, as the play lists are not updated that often. Click here if you want to try a link that might launch your RealAudio Player.
Environmental Defense FundThis environmental group has an unflinchingly radical agenda, but is willing to walk hand in hand with an occasionally cooperative big corporation    to bring about projects that help people who have to live on this earth in the next century. See their web page. This is in stark contrast to groups like Greenpeace, who have put the most environmentally responsible oil companies on their enemies list.
Reasons to BelieveThis organization is a cheerleader for Old Earth Creationism, the crazy idea that both the Genesis account in Scripture and modern scientific observations are correct. For example, they believe that God created (He said and "poof" they existed) an increasingly complex array of life forms over the past few hundred million years, culmunating in the creation of men. Read more about them here. The best exposition of the Old Earth Creationist position can be found in the book, Creation and Time by Hugh Ross.
I suppose my one gripe with this organization is that they often speak of "proofs" for God's existence. They prove nothing of the sort. They are quite skilled, however, at making scientific disproofs of cheezy objections to the bible's reliability.
Amnesty InternationalAI gives people the opportunity to write letters on behalf of people who are imprisoned or tortured for the sake of their nonviolent political or religious beliefs. You can sign up to be part of their Urgent Action Network.
Evangelicals for Social ActionESA has a number of interesting positions. For example, they hold that homosexual sexual relations are a sin contrary to God's will, yet they opposed the routing of gays from the military on the basis that it was an unbiblical emphasis on this one sin. They support legal protections for the unborn, yet they were most vocal in opposing many aspects of the Republican "jihad" on welfare reform. In short, they take positions on "family values" and "social justice" not because of any political agenda, but because they believe it to be called for in God's word. The book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger first introduced me to this group.
The Catholic WorkerThis is a radical Catholic group steeped in a theologically conservative belief in Christian faith. They work against the death penalty, abortion, war, nuclear weapons, and the harsh treatment of aliens and the poor. They prefer "economic personalism" over the welfare state and operate "hospitality houses" all over the country. A national web page may be found here. A book which contains some of the most moving articles from their newspaper over the past fifty years is A Penny a Copy; Readings from the Catholic Worker
PovrayThe Persistence of Vision Raytracer is a freeware program that makes stunning 3D images. It can outperform many expensive software packages. The existence of such cool freeware is one small thing that increases my faith in the goodness of people! This software is also entirely ASCII text based, in that could enable someone who "cannot draw" or even Stephen Hawkings to become a great artist!
The NationAre you afraid of giving up your "conservative" loyalties because you fear that would make you a cheerleader for Lenin, Sharpton, and OJ?
Do pro-Clinton Democrats make you nauseous? The Nation has probably called for Clinton's impeachment more than any other group, but on serious moral issues like the bombing of factories in Sudan moreso than bedroom scandals. I think you'll hear more ravings against government meddling in peoples lives, like the abuses of the WTO, than you will from Rush Limbaugh.
The Nation is a great weekly magazine for information on the environment, race, law, poverty, and war, from a "morally consistent" or "logicaly consistent leftist viewpoint that you won't hear from Dick Gephardt. I certainly don't agree with everything that the Nation is about, particularly abortion and sexual morality. But if you have ever used the word "left" or "liberal" in a sentence, especially if you ever did so with disdain, your arguments are probably false, straw man arguments unless you are familiar with the writings of the Nation.
DisapprovalsIf I have offended you or if you reject my values based on my comments here, then perhaps I can do you a favor and direct you to organizations that I find offensive. I suppose that I cannot call this list "Unconditional Condemnations," as I probably agree with each of the following groups that the sky is blue.
The Cato InstituteThe Cato Institute publishes reports on the environment and economics with a purpose of opposing government regulation. There is nothing wrong with opposing regulation or being a libertarian, but there is something very wrong with distorting science on behalf of polluters.
Metaphorically speaking, we should not loose too much sleep over those who oppose taxpayer funding of volunteer fire departments. We should not suffer, however, those who campaign against a fireman tax by saying, "Most citizens are not that badly burned."
- Specifically, Cato has said that ozone depletion is a myth because "it is quite a mystery" as to how CFC's can diffuse to the stratosphere. CFC's, a water-insoluble gas have been measured thousands of times up there.
- Likewise, they have published papers which were critical of the EPA report on secondhand tobacco smoke. The internal documents of tobacco companies show they understood it to be carcinogenic. Their landmark paper, "Smoke and Mirrors: the EPA's Flawed Study of Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Lung Cancer," was published in Regulation in 1993. One of the coauthors was Dr. Gary Huber, who later admitted in a deposition to "the role he had played for the industry over the years and saying that it was a dishonest role." Huber had taken "millions in research dollars" from the tobacco industry." Huber had also annoyed students during his tenure at Harvard Medical school who complained about him "pasting up a big tobacco leaf in his office... and said that cigs are not harmful" while "taking millions from the tobacco industry."
- Cato has the gall to claim that smoking "poses little danger to young adults or family members" and " no proven relationship between parental smoking and pediatric disease." Medical research, however, tells us that exposure to smoke is a major risk factor for babies dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and having bronchitis, ear infections, and asthma attacks.
- Cato has written many editorial pieces in favor of whatever the tobacco industry was arguing at the time. Here is a document from Phillip Morris that suggests that Cato agreed to a PM suggestion to write a paper critical of a Centers for Disease Control report before they'd even studied it! Here is another, suggesting that Cato was writing articles about teen smoking at the direct bidding of the industry.
Cato gets my vote for "most evil institution," far beyond the KKK . I can easily forgive (but want JAILED) an ignorant poor white man who commits an act of violence against a minority. It takes up much more spiritual resources to forgive someone who tells lies for profit, lies that encourage uncharitable acts. As I said before, gentle people can agree to disagree on whether the government should regulate smoking in public; it is quite an evil thing, however, to encourage parents not to worry about smoking in front of their children!
Here is the whole problem restated in a web page I made for two good Christian friends.
The Council of Conservative CitizensThe CofCC recently gained attention when it was revealed that majority speaker Trent Lott had given several friendly addresses to this group. The CofCC favors restricting non-white immigration, believes that the comments of one black caller on a radio program are evidence of the "African American mentality." In Kosovo, they believe "Ethnic Albanian is a code word for illegal alien" and support the expulsion of all Albanians back to Albania. CofCC holds that the anti-Christian actions of Mulsims in 1389 are reason for us to side with the Serbs today. The horribleness of a racist argument against the NATO bombing doesn't justify the bombing, however.
Institue for Creation ResearchThe CRI believes that Genesis is literal history, something I agree with. Where I disagree with them is their belief that the plain and simple meaning of the English King James Version is the only faithful literal interpretation. They believe that failure to conclude that the earth is a few thousand years old from scientific evidence is based on bias against God. They hold that belief in 24-hour creation days should be part of the Creeds. They hold that Darwinism cannot explain the diversity of life we see today, which is something I agree with. The problem is that their proposed mechanism for the flourish of diversity after the flood of Noah is essentially Darwinism at a ridiculously fast pace! Essentially, they tell nonbelievers that if you cannot believe in a 24-hour creation day, then do not believe in God.
Conditional EndorsementsThe following organizations I have supported at one time or another. These endorsements are "conditional" because these groups don't always speak exactly for me. Some I continue to support, with great hopes for their reform. Others I'm just less enthusiastic about. I tend to agree with these organizations moreso than with their critics, however. Even when some of these groups are critics of each other!
Bread for the World
Christian Environmental Association
Earth Island Institute
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod
Lutherans for Life
Lutheran Peace Fellowship
Witness for Peace
Just Missing the BoatThe following groups I stopped supporting because I found myself objecting to their rhetoric, a plank in their agenda, and/or their fundraising techniques.
American Civil Liberties Union
In talking about economics, or "economic liberty", its OK to say you oppose the minimum wage: it's quite another thing to say you oppose verbal criticism of sweatshops. The ACLU is to pornography and hate speech what right-wing libertarians are to sweatshops. The last straw for me was seeing the president of the ACLU attack criticism of the movie which glorified the career of Larry Flynt.
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting
Greenpeace is burdened by a runamok fundraising bureaucracy. Actually, I think they farm out their fundraising efforts to an unscrupulous corporation. The Right is pointing out how much Greenpeace wastes on paper. I became infuriated after receiving "Renew or else!" warnings in the mail while being a faithful contributor. GP also burns its bridges with potentially helpful corporations.
Pax Christi USA
PC has a great legacy of reminding the church and the world of what the bible and the church fathers have said about peace and poverty. PC has, however, recently confused political liberalism with theological liberalism. A national staff person once closed her editorial in the national journal, "With the grace of Jesus and the wisdom of Sophia." It tolerates those who worship a Dinity of Jesus & the lady Sophia.
MUST VISIT LINKS
Global Warming is Here | Astronomy Picture of the Day | Coolest TV Show Ever | Listen To My Station | Violence begets the very thing it seeks to destroy | The witnesses changed their stories under police pressure | Stop telemarketers cold! | The Rainforest Site | Save the Oceans at your Dinner Table! | Tricked my father, Killed him... | Political news from Doonesbury | "Throat scratch, yes.Pain-in-the-neck old agressive malignant growths, no!" | Who's polluting your groundwater? | Relativity proves OT Creator | Watch those yolks, folks! | Save Family Farms | Give Sulu a ship! | Burn All Gifs | Cartoon links on the web | Just killin' babies | Saving Kids
MUST SEE COMPUTER ART
Cool fractal programs | 3D Artists - Art Gallery | Cool raytracing program
MUST READ BOOKS
On Being a Theologian of the Cross | Cost of Discipleship | Mere Christianity | Dinosaur Heresies | Dechronization of Sam Magruder | Guns of the South
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