My Review of the Big Finish Doctor Who Audio The Fires of Vulcan is now available at here.

Big Finish # 12
Big Finish # 12
It is interesting to note that this adventure doesn’t conflict with the 4th Doctor adventure The fires of Pompeii. In fact it reinforces it.

Note that the Doctor as soon as he realizes where he is doesn’t hesitate, doesn’t pontificate he immediately turns and starts booking for the Tardis. Since he knows the Volcano doesn’t errupt till the next day there shouldn’t be the same hurry or panic. But if he KNOWS that he is already there in a previous incarnation then that changes the picture and he needs to be out of there as soon as he can.

Thus Fires of Vulcan is not only a first rate episode it makes Fires of Pompeii even better.

You’ve just gotta love Christopher Hitchens.

Christopher Hitchens is currently in Beirut sponsored by the same group that owns that crap NOW Lebanon. He got in a few nights ago and surprisingly went out drinking. On his way out of the bar he saw an SSNP poster and wrote on it “F*** the SSNP”. There just happened to be some SSNP thugs near by–most likely asking people for their ID, and most likely to no avail–and saw him write on the poster and kicked his ass. He is still walking with a limp.

Abu Muqawama says he’s confirmed the story. The SSNP is, of course, a Hezbollah ally that advocates a Syrian anschluss of Lebanon (and Israel, natch). Consider Hitch a minor martyr to the cause of the Cedar Revolution here.

Muqawama thinks he’s a fool:

Look, it’s widely known that since the May 2008 events the SSNP guys have behaved like thugs in Hamra (where the ass-kicking took place). But seriously, would you roll into East L.A. and start writing over gang signs? I mean, is that smart? C’mon, Brother Hitchens, we’re rootin’ for you, but have a little walkin’ around sense.

Ace says details are wrong so we will have to see.

Atheist smatheist; this guy has guts and honor. He’s certainly no Robert Fisk. It will take more than a beating to stop him from saying what he thinks.

Update: Ace has the scoop:

Hitch and two others were out on some or such errand. One guy was just telling Hitchens that the Syrian Nazi party had little support in the country but was paid by Syria to kill people, and that he’d been told they’re the one party you don’t fuck with.

So five minutes later they come across the poster for the Syrian Nazi Party on an abandoned bagel shop — abandoned, if I had this right, after Hezballah had attacked it last year due to the overly Jewish connotations of bagelry.

So Hitchens immediately takes out a pen and writes “No, no, Fuck You” on the poster. I don’t know if he’d digested the story and decided to fuck with them anyway, or else he was just reacting to the modified swastika on the poster.

Not quite Gandhi not getting off the train but still gutsy.

Well, when this Syrian Nazi goon saw Hitch do this, he confronted him and kinda-sorta attacked him. I say kinda sorta attacked, because what his main intent was was to delay Hitchens from leaving — until the ten Nazi goons he had just texted on his cell phone could arrive.

There was some kicking and pulling and hitting. Hitch and the others attempted to get into a cab — the Syrian Nazi goon got right in the cab with them, still hitting Hitchens. They could not force him out. Eventually they all exited, and attempted to get a fresh cab, but other cabbies were now hip to the fact the Syrian Nazis had been riled and wanted no business from them, so two cabs passed refusing their fare.

Now at this point the ten Nazi goons showed up (about five minutes into this– they came quickly) and Hitch and the other two were probably going to get the crap beaten out of them, at best. However, they finally managed to get a cabbie who was either brave or didn’t know the trouble he was getting into and got in, this time without the goon, and left the other ten behind.

My favorite line of the entire piece is this:

(I’m not saying he didn’t get drunk– just not then.)

Ace had held off posting this, he was going to wait till they were outta there but the word is out so what are you gonna do?

Update 2: Hotair updates too

…don’t forget that the Total confusion convention begins tomorrow and runs for 4 days at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield Massachusetts. It’s a little late for registration but there is no reason why you can’t show up at the door and hope for the best.

If you want something with a little more notice consider ConBust 2009 held at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. It is a combination sci-fi/fantasy/anime and gaming convention that will be held March 27th through 29th. Mike’s comics an online dealer that carries the entire line of Doctor Who Audios that I review a lot on this blog will be a dealer there and that reason alone is good enough for me to visit.

It’s worth noting that you might qualify for free housing if you are a college student 18 years old or older you might be able to get housing for the event details here.

At the Corner George Weigel fires the big guns in the Pelosi Pope meeting:

As her performance on Meet the Press prior to last year’s Democratic national convention made painfully clear, Pelosi is deeply confused about what her church teaches on the morality of abortion, and why. She may have come to her bizarre views on her own; it’s far more likely that she has been un-catechized, so to speak, by Catholic intellectuals and clerics who find Catholic teaching on life issues an embarrassment among their high-minded friends and colleagues of the progressive persuasion. Whatever the source of her confusion, Pelosi has now been informed, and by a world-class intellectual who happens to be the universal pastor of the Catholic Church, that she is, in fact, confused, and that both her spiritual life and her public service are in jeopardy because of that.

It is not for nothing that the subject of Abortion was totally absent from the speakers office’s statement.

…to this post. I want to address something I mentioned in my last post:

Remember it isn’t the souls of the aborted that are at risk, it is the souls of those who are involved in the action itself and its support. They should be our primary concern and the focus of our prayers.

When I had my discussion with my nephew concerning religion he jumped all over this in the same way the Ebon the atheist does on his blog:

And Lewis has it exactly right: if death before the age of accountability means instant no-effort salvation, then the majority of the population of Heaven will be made up of people who died in infancy or very early childhood and never had a life on Earth at all. This is even more true if, as many Christians believe, even a single-celled embryo is a person with a soul. By some estimates, as many as 75% of all conceptions end in spontaneous abortion, usually before the woman ever realizes she is pregnant – a vast number of souls that will get into Heaven for free, while the majority of the unlucky few who happen to survive into adulthood will end up consigned to eternal torment.

The bizarre, ludicrous illogic of this system turns notions of morality on their head. The logical conclusion from these beliefs would be that it is a morally praiseworthy act to kill children, thereby guaranteeing their salvation. The corollary is that life on Earth is a terrible misfortune and something to be avoided at all costs, veering extremely close to the ancient Gnostic belief systems condemned as heresy by the church. Why in the world would God even bother to create the Earth if “human birth is important chiefly as the qualification for human death”? Why not just create a race of beings that all die in the womb and have their salvation assured? Lewis mentions these glaring facts, but never addresses their implications for Christianity.

His earlier George W. Bush rant not withstanding; this is a solid question that deserves an answer so let me give the one I gave to my nephew who echoed the argument that an abortionist made concerning this about sending souls to heaven. Lets take them in order. First of all there is a reason why the commandments are in order. And commandment number one is:

You shall have no other Gods but me!

The act of taking what belongs to God or the attempt to make oneself God is a big sin, maybe even THE great sin, not only does the abortionist violate this sin but he brings millions to that same brink and establishes it. The number of abortions still is dwarfed by the number of births and the number of people actually alive. The establishment of it as a societal has the potential to damn far more people over the course of decades than the number of souls that avoid judgment. No person makes this argument for their own sake, they make it to shut other people up.

The second point in his argument is the “spontaneous abortion” argument. Scientifically there is no question when a human life begins. At conception you have a human. Thus as a society “human” rights need to proceed from that point. Some might want to play “gotcha” games on the moment the soul exists, but that leads to the danger of giving an out to play with human life.

We are actually warned in scripture that this is the case, remember the ending of the parable:

When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first.’ When those who had started about five o’clock came, each received the usual daily wage. So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more, but each of them also got the usual wage. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’ He said to one of them in reply, ‘My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? (Or) am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?Matt 20:8-15

Again we have the protest of God methods the foolishness of the Cross as Paul says:

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 17:18

Mr. Ebon also forgets the gift of free will. I ask him if he would prefer a life where he is fed, clothed and taken care of but doesn’t have free will? That is the gift that that a full life gives us, we are given the chance to make our own choices, for good or ill. One can’t create saints without the potential to create sinners. Would Ebon consider himself lucky if his free will was removed? Would you?

The killing children argument I’ve already covered above, but I would also mention that the primary duty of the individual is to send oneself to heaven. Remember this passage:

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37

This should cover the argument. Like most liberals we see the cry against an unfair world. One would be more wise to spend one’s time living in it instead.

(Update 4: Major update here.)

People seemed to have their knickers in twist over the Nancy Pelosi’s meeting with the pope. It reminds me of Christopher Hitchens over Mother Teresa’s willingness to meet less than fully savory characters. So the result from the meeting produces no surprise to me:

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday told U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic who supports abortion rights, that Catholic politicians have a duty to protect life “at all stages of its development,” the Vatican said.

Pelosi is the first top Democrat to meet with Benedict since the election of Barack Obama, who won a majority of the Catholic vote despite differences with the Vatican on abortion.

The Vatican released remarks by the pope to Pelosi, saying Benedict spoke of the church’s teaching “on the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.” That is an expression often used by the pope when expressing opposition to abortion.

Benedict said all Catholics—especially legislators, jurists and political leaders—should work to create “a just system of laws capable of protecting human life at all stages of its development.”

Part of the job description of any Catholic Priest is to welcome but correct sinners. This is what the pope has done and don’t underestimate the effect even a gentle in person correction by the pope can have if there is any spark of Catholic left in the system. Continue reading “How about that, the pope acting like…The Pope”

…and it has nothing to do with anything the administration or the Palestinian authority or anything anyone is saying about the church or even the job hunt which is going poorly.

Miracles happen, but this means blogging may be kinda light today.

But if you need a quick smile what appears to be the climax of Rich’s comic strip might help.

I sure hope it is available in book form sooner or later. It would make an awesome audio as well

My religious series continues. Previous chapters are here, here, here and here.

Having decided the parameters for belief we now come to Jesus Christ.

When discussing Christ there are two big questions to deal with, his existence and if he is or is not a divine being.

When dealing with this question one mistake that our Protestant friends tend to make is using the Bible as proof of both. The Book can’t be proof of itself, that is: One can’t argue that a book is true because the book itself says so.

We can however in this step of our inquiry take the bible as a collection of ancient text that actually holds up quite well in many details.

There is dispute about the date of the authorship of the various New Testament books We can establish that what we would call Christians existed during the reign of Claudius and Nero in the 1st Century AD we also note that there no Roman record of Christians existing at the time of the reign of Augustus Caesar or before, nor any roman historical record stating this.

This tends to support the biblical time line which specifically mentions both Augustus Caesar and Tiberius Caesar. Mind you at this point we are only trying to establish the existence of Christ not the divinity thereof. Continue reading “Chapter 3 Christ”