Speaker Pelosi, the Pope is on line 2

According to Speaker Pelosi,

We don’t know [whether life begins at conception]. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose.

Eh? Whether or not life begins at conception has no impact on the right to choose? How does that even make sense?

There’s a great rebuttal here, basically showing that Pelosi has no clue what the Catholic church has taught in the past.

Archbishop Charles Chaput, of Denver, responds:

Ardent, practicing Catholics will quickly learn from the historical record that from apostolic times, the Christian tradition overwhelmingly held that abortion was grievously evil. In the absence of modern medical knowledge, some of the Early Fathers held that abortion was homicide; others that it was tantamount to homicide; and various scholars theorized about when and how the unborn child might be animated or “ensouled.” But none diminished the unique evil of abortion as an attack on life itself, and the early Church closely associated abortion with infanticide. In short, from the beginning, the believing Christian community held that abortion was always, gravely wrong.

Holding to a “living Constitution” that changes with the times is one thing. Grossly misrepresenting the history of the Church to which Speaker Pelosi professes to belong is another.

Even the US Council of Catholic Bishops has been moved to respond.

In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law.” (No. 2271)

Bidne literally misuses literally

Eric Zorn points out that Biden is literally one of those politicians who is not aware what words mean.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s choice for running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, used the word “literally” literally eight times in his speech Saturday afternoon, suggesting we’re in for a metaphorical deluge of misuses of “literally” this campaign season:

This is my favorite:

not only to change the direction of America, but literally, literally to change the direction of the world.

The last person who did that was Superman. And he had to do that to save Lois and California.

Most complicated parachute test?

Evidently, the parachute test for NASA’s Constellation program failed. The image looks rather tragic.

“This is the most complicated parachute test NASA has run since the 60 s ” said Carol Evans test manager for the parachute system at NASA s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “We are taking a close look at what caused the set-up chutes to malfunction.”

I think they’re forgetting about all the parachute testing that JPL has done for the MER and the MSL rovers.

Dear FDIC

The Motley Fool has an article about the DFDIC deal with IndyMac loanholders..

But no, I won’t qualify for this help, and you probably won’t either. In order to get help from the FDIC — help that as taxpayers, you and I are paying for — two things have to be true:

  • Borrowers have to have overextended themselves on their mortgage loans, most likely by either pulling out too much of their equity via refinancing or by getting burned by an adjustable-rate mortgage.
  • The bank where the loan was taken has to have been so badly mismanaged that it gets taken over by the FDIC.

Yep. I’ll admit to thinking that myself. How come I never get benefits from making bad decisions?

But there’s certainly an element of “help your neighbor” sort of thing. The rest of the economy, which I do benefit from, will benefit from having homeowners (wait, you can’t call them homeowners since they owe more than the house is worth…) who can’t pay their loans get supported by government money.

I just have to remind myself of that. Often remind myself of that.Rewarding bad behavior is not a habit I want to see my government get into the habit of doing.

Death of Congregational Singing

Michael Raiter wrote a great article back in April about congregational singing in the church.

It’s time for congregations to sensitively but firmly rise up and reclaim congregational singing. We must remind song leaders (or, perhaps, teach them in the first place) the purpose of their ministry. Putting a microphone in the hands of someone who can sing no more makes her a song leader than, as the old proverb goes, sticking someone in a garage makes him a car. All the microphone does is make someone a very loud singer. The ministry of the song leader is, surely, to guide and lead the people of God in singing. The role of the song leader is to help us to sing, and they will know if they have fulfilled that ministry when they can hardly be heard because of the praises of the congregation filling the room.

The whole thing is really very well written, and covers a lot of points. One of his concluding paragraphs, though, which I quote above really hit home. I’ve been in churches where the worship singing had been turned into a concert performance by the band. Where it didn’t matter if the congregation was singing or not, since all the hardware was on stage to ensure that the singers could hear themselves. And then they’d all jump into the chorus of This is the worship song that never ends…it goes on and on my, friend…we’ll sing this line again and again…

And that’s not good.

I followed the link from Michael Spender to find that article. Michael is even more pointed:

In its place we have a lot of songs that a lot of people don’t know, a lot of bad and unknown tunes, a lot of watching the worship team perform (especially if they are female of the right type and dress), a lot of forgettable, narcissistic lyrics, a lot of bad and inexperienced worship leaders, a lot of bone-headed thinking about congregational singing in relation to church growth, a lot of imitation of churches and methods that most congregations can’t imitate, a lot of lay people who simply don’t know how to sing at all, a lot of churches that don’t teach singing, a lot of turning congregations into audiences anyway and whatever else goes into the stew that does away with congregational singing.

I grew up with hymns. For the longest time, I thought praise choruses were only for when you went to summer camp, since you were in the woods and there was only a guitar. That was why you sang the same chorus 10 times over and over. That’s not to say those camp songs didn’t impact me. Even now, I hear some of them and I get chill bumps because it reminds me of times when God felt very near.

But heck, what if we just unplugged everything? Would our worship be worth less to our Lord? Would the rocks cry out if we were not in tune or off the beat? Amazing Grace, a cappella anyone?

Make a joyful noise…

KDE4 Porting Gotchas

Besides the big stuff of adjusting to Qt4 and a slightly difference KDE4 API for the port of Tellico to the KDE platform, I’ve hit a few gotchas that took me some time to figure out. These happen after everything compiles, but when something doesn’t seem to work quite right. They’re mentioned on the KDE4 Porting guidelines, but are easy to miss.

  • KSaveFile and KTemporaryFile must be open()’ed before you use them, and the file name itself gets cleared when you close() them. That took me a long time to track down.
  • KUrl::directory(false) will compile, but trigger a big assert, since the function signature has changed to use enum’s.
  • You must call QXmlInputSource::setData before a QXmlReader uses it, even if the data is empty. This one took me a while to figure out.

I’ll add to this list as I come across new ones.