Euthanasia for kids

Belgium is considering a law that would extend “the right to euthanasia” to children, so that they could request their own deaths.  The Washington Post story about this, excerpted after the jump, gives a grisly survey of existing euthanasia laws.  It also quotes an Archbishop who, of course, opposes the proposed law, but on the grounds that it is unnecessary:  Doctors can instead use “palliative sedation,” in which patients are drugged unconscious, whereupon they can be allowed to starve to death.

Palliative sedation?  Why is this not euthanasia?  How can this be a pro-life alternative? [Read more…]

Pulling back from the culture wars?

Church historian Martin Marty discusses how conservative Christians are pulling back from the culture wars.  He cites the leadership of Pope Francis for the Roman Catholics and Russell Moore for the Southern Baptists.  An additional factor is the increasing secularization of the conservative movement, citing the Tea Party’s general indifference to moral issues the church has been concerned with.  (He might have added the active atheism and hostility to Christianity of the hard-core libertarian followers of Ayn Rand.)

Read what Dr. Marty has to say–and what I have to say about what he says– after the jump.   [Read more…]

Naming the blessed dead

All Saints’ Day is the Christian Memorial Day, a time to remember loved ones who have died and who now are with all of the other saints, enjoying everlasting life with Christ.  The custom on All Saints’ Day in church is simply to list those who died in the previous year, reading each name as a bell tolls.  I invite you to use this space to honor any of those you love who have joined the saints.

I’ll go first:  GENE EDWARD VEITH, my father, who died in May.

Becoming the LeBron James of welding

Tip of the hat to my former student Nathan Martin, who is involved with this program in Louisiana that teaches students in troubled high schools to be electricians, welders, or other well-paid skilled technicians.  Read about it after the jump and then consider my questions. [Read more…]

Co-opting Halloween for Reformation Day

Today is Reformation Day.  Children will wear masks, symbolizing vocation (as in the princesses, ballerinas, and cowboys) or our sinful nature (as in the witches, zombies, and monsters).  We will give them the free gift of candy, symbolizing the Gospel in all of its sweetness.

The pumpkins. . . ummm. . . .When we are connected to the vine of Christ, our faith brings forth fruit.  Big fruit.  The size of pumpkins.  They have faces carved into them to remind us that our good works need to benefit an actual person; that is, be in love and service to our neighbors, whether they are smiling or looking mean.

Help me out here.  What other Halloween customs could we co-opt for Reformation Day?  Bobbing for apples?  Ghosts?  Getting scared?  What else?

 

The origins & history of Halloween

Pastor Joseph Abrahamson has a running project of refuting the notion that Christian holidays derived from pagan festivals.  You have got to read what he says about the history of Halloween. [Read more…]