The Karl Show
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Monday, February 28, 2005

We all know that many modernist and post-modernist doctrines threaten to obscure the Truth of the Bible.

Evolution, Historical-Critical scholarship, Free Inquiry, the Printing Press, Lightbulbs - they're all damnable baubles created by the devil and supported by heretics. But do you know that the most insidious heresy really is?


It's true! It all started with Galilleo, folks. His insidious idea - his perverted idea - that Earth and Mankind are not at the center of the universe - paved the way for satanic ideas like Evolution, astrophysics and day-time TV. I was amazed that I found so many committed, completely non-schtizophrenic Christians like myself who believe the True Doctrine about our place in the Universe.

The Christian Bible (and the Koran!) declare the earth to be motionless....As the 21st Century gets its feet wet, man's "knowledge" is almost totally secularized and the Bible all but ignored as the source of absolute Truth from God Himself. ..The "sciences" reign supreme, and they do so because of the victory of Copernicanism over the Bible's motionless earth."

We need to get the word out folks. I'm going to lobby the local PTA board to include stickers in all science textbooks - pointing out that the idea of the Earth revolving around the Sun is just a theory, and can't be tested in a labratory.

"This site is devoted to the historical relationship between the Bible and astronomy. It assumes that whenever the two are at variance, it is always astronomy—that is, our "reading" of the "Book of Nature," not our reading of the Holy Bible—that is wrong. History bears consistent witness to the truth of that stance."


Now, you all know that I'm having fun at other people's expense. It's a serious but tremendeously fun character flaw that I have. Yet, I believe the arguments raised on those kooky websites do pose an important question, albeit in a strange sort of way.

The person I quoted above says that scripture should interpret everything in life, including Astrophysics - and not, presumably - the other way around.

So, by what method and by what standard do we allow science to influence our reading of scripture? Probably 99.9999% modern day Christians would laugh at the idea of the Earth being the center of the universe - but why? Because modern thinking has colored our reading of pre-modern scriptures. This is where post-modernism comes in handy, but I'll talk more about that later.

Personally, I think the Evolution debate is probably headed in the same direction as the Heilocentric debate. In a hundred years, anybody who doesn't believe in Natural Selection will be looked upon very strangely - probably about as strangely as we look upon the people above.

But where do we go from there? What new lights will science (or something else?) shed on scripture in the decades and centuries to come? What about post-modernism? Like I said - I get around to talking about it later. In the meantime, I'll be studying for an Art History exam.

End Transmission.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I felt a strange feeling as I walked into work on Wednesday. (Say, don't you think that "wednesday" is a funny word? I do. I mean, just look at it!) Anyway, I felt kinda strange as soon as I walked through the door - something was amiss - something was in the air. It took me at least another forty five seconds to figure out what was making my spider senses tingle. When I finally realized what was happening, I was dumbstruck. I couldn't believe my ears.

The Company was playing Christian music over the PA system.

And by "Christian music", I really mean KLOVE-style music. Christian music has a long and ancient history, but here in 21st century America, Christian music means "KLOVE" and NOT Byzantine chant. Go figure.

I'm thinking that I should write artists and tell them what's going on. How would you feel if some of the Praise'n'Worship music you had written was being used for Muzak in middle-class department stores? I, personally, would be nonplussed. I would also ditch the KLOVE-sounds and get into rock as soon as I could.

Another funny thing is that nobody else seemed to notice (or mind) the God-music, as far as I could tell anyway. I noticed a few Sikhs on the sales floor, but they seemed oblivious. They probably aren't familiar with praise music anyway, so they wouldn't recognize it well enough to get offended.

In other news, school last night turned out better than I thought it would. I think I did pretty well on the test, and got better grades on my homework than I was expecting. I left the class feeling great, and wanting to work harder to get an even better grade. I was raised (like most of you, I imagine) with the Dr. Dobson mantra of "HIGH SELF-ESTEEM IS BAD FOR KIDS!!!", on account that Self-Esteem leads to terrible things like Liberalism and Rock Music or whatever. I find, however, that I actually do better when I think I'm doing better as opposed to when I think I'm doing poorly. Just read my post from yesterday! Did I sound like I was doing well? Like I wanted to succeed? My grade was mostly the same yesterday as it is today - but thinking that I'm doing well makes all the difference.

Finally, the big Anglican bru-ha-ha. I suppose that I should be delighted that the Anglicans have basically told the ECUSA to shape up or get out. I suppose this is a victory for traditional Christians, and I suppose I should be pleased about that. The thing is, I'm not pleased and I don't know why. This is not to say, of course, that I'm going to run out and join the "Rah-Rah for Homosexuality Club" anymore than I'm going to join the "Let's Prooftext Propositional Didactic
Laws From The Pauline Narrative Club". I guess I'm saying that I don't approve of how both sides in this fight have handled themselves. I don't appreciate heavy handed belligerence no matter where I find it - even among people that I agree with. No, make that especially among people that I agree with. The ultimatum is a victory - a temporary victory - for Evangelicals within the Church. There's a very real chance that the ECUSA will be kicked out if they don't change.

But I wonder....

I wonder whats going to happen - hypothetically speaking - a few years down the road, after the ECUSA has been jettisoned, when the African and Asian bishops approach Canterbury with another ultimatum:

"The Church of England must fully and completely repent of it's ordaining women to a so-called priesthood. The Church must sign a legally binding Covenant promising never again to depart from this (and other) teachings of the Apostolic Tradition. All female pseudo-priests must be sacked at once and replaced with real priests. If immediate action is not taken to restore the Church of England to the Catholic Faith, the African and Asian Churches - which represent the Historic Christian Faith - will declare the Church of England to be schismatic and likewise declare the See of Canterbury to be vacant."

Are these dark thoughts from my trouble imagination, or could this really happen? Could these people - who represent the majority of Anglicanism - force a bully pulpit on everyone else? Would this effectively be the equivalent of "Theology-by-majority" that the traditionalists are supposed to be against? What would that mean for Anglicans? What would it mean for the Universal Church?

Dark thoughts, perhaps - but dark thinking is often necessary in dark times.

End transmission.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tommorow I head off to Merced and face the dreaded Nutrition Mid Term. I swear, I've never participated in such a poorly run class. Some people just shouldn't be teachers, I think.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


You've seen the Dragon?

You've seen his face?

Well, I have seen it too.

I saw it in the mirror once

those charcoal eyes. those ashen


that watchful gaze over a thousand

Gehenna hills

that burning trash heap



and a flame that never goes out

those eyes


not with death - mind you

but with


death is the end of all things

but this


is worse than the end of all things. it goes lower.



with charcoal eyes.

go away you old lizard.
Sunday, February 20, 2005

Psalm 146

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in mortals, in whom there is no help.
4 When their breath departs, they return to the earth;
on that very day their plans perish.

5 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the LORD their God,
6 who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith for ever;
7 who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8 the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
the LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

10 The LORD will reign for ever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the LORD!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Do you know what this is?

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Its the Wilderness. Thats where I am right now.

An appropriate place to spend Lent, yes? Yes, except that this is my forty days in the desert - mine along with Jesus'. The truth is, the sad truth is, I'm very tired. Mentally, spiritually tired. Maybe a tad physically tired too. I'm tired of Lies and Truth. I'm tired of Lies pretending to be Truth and Truth that is a lie.

I'm looking for certainty in a world where such a thing doesn't exist.

It _ Doesn't _ Exist.

Or, if it does, it's like an oasis in the desert. A nice respite in the middle of nowhere, but bound to dry up eventually. The fresh springs, the palm and date trees, the desert flowers - they all dry up once humans start using the oasis. Our very presence (and our never-ending thirst) kills off the local ecosystem. After a few years, it's gone - washed away in a sea of flowing sand. The oasis is no place to put down roots and make a home. You can't make it your home, because soon it'll be gone. All certainty is like that.

Maybe I should start writing again? I mean, really writing? Maybe that'll clear my head?

I hope so. Until then, I walk across this desolate land, this burning trash heap of a Gehenna, this derelict Tartarus. I walk alone - but perhaps I will find Jesus here too?

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Monday, February 14, 2005

My Lenten sacrifice this year: stop thinking about girls.

How long was I faithful?

(see above)

So what do you do when your Lenten disciplines fail? Try again and shoot for ten minutes?
Friday, February 11, 2005

Vi Martinson, age 102, has entered into rest.

I remembered first meeting Vi when I took a job at Covenant Village of Turlock. I think, although I'm not sure, that she was my first "customer". I was a receptionist you see, a desk jockey. My job was to take care of any and all clerical needs that the residents might have. I'll admit that sometimes it was less than fun - as any job is bound to be - but Vi never made my life harder. If anything, one of the highlights of my job was anticipating what new floral designs Vi would be decorating her walker with. Don't forget the earrings, either. Ah, those earrings!

But more than that - way more than that - Vi was a saint. She was a woman who had given her whole life to God. She was, in the end, a living saint who walked with God. She fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. Truly, this is not a time for mourning, but celebration. I can think of no better way to finish any race.

You can read other reflections on Vi here and here.
Thursday, February 10, 2005

Please, please, please check out

It's a website where a gifted artist takes the subject lines from spam and literally represents them on the drawing board. I didn't think it would be very funny at first, but honestly, this is one of the few websites that I've actually "laughed out loud" at in a long time.

A few samples:

If you die tonight, what happens to your family tommorow?

Play video p0ker with the Emperor

you lack credentials for that position

your application was accepted

Troy Powell, Checking in!

Enjoy your love life as much as he does!

And finally, the greatest, most off the wall drawing - so great that it became their unofficial logo:

you were wrong cabinet sanchez

Hilarious. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ashes to Ashes
All I have is Doubt

Ashes to Ashes
All I am is Failure

Ashes to Ashes
Is there any hope?

Ashes to Ashes
All that I have

is Ashes

Monday, February 07, 2005

I'd like to thank everybody who posted a comment in my Free Will/Determinism section. I have lots of homework in my Art History class, so I won't be able to answer any of your questions right now. Rest assured I will be thinking about them, however.

In the meantime, let me share something with you.

The other day I took my grandma on her weekly trip to the store. I'll be completely honest: sometimes it's a pain to take my grandma out. She's getting a little senile, and sometimes she says embarrassing statements in public.

"Lordy me! I'm as constipated as an Armadilla' in heat! I had better get me some o' them Ex-Lax pills!" she said in the middle of the store.

Thankfully, not many people were around to hear that, so I escaped with some of my dignity intact.

Anyway, last week I took her to the store. She spent a few hours shopping while I mulled around the cash registers, doing nothing in particular. When grandma was ready to go, I found her a check-out aisle that wasn't too crowded. If there's one thing that grandma hates, it's waiting in line.

"Ah hell!" grandma hissed, "I forgot the paper towels! Where do they keep the paper towels, honey bumpkin?"

"Uh," I muttered, "Aisle three, I think."

"Allrighty sweetie, you wait here for grandma and I'll go get 'em."

Just as grandma walked out of ear shot, I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I flew around on the back of my heals, surprised by the sudden interruption and half expecting to find a pickpocket or mugger trying to steal my wallet. Yes, in case your wondering, I am paranoid.

Instead I found the wrinkled, smiling face of an old Assyrian lady. I was about to apologize for being so jumpy, when she cut me off.

"My grandsons help me too." she said, "They help me whenever I need help. It's good that you help your grandma. You are a blessing to her."

I nodded slowly and opened my mouth to say something again, but before I could, she said - very solemnly:

"God will give you everything."

I stood there, with my eyes wide open, now having lost all pretense for words.

"God will give you everything."

"Thh-ank you." I stuttered.

The old women nodded and turned to walk away. That was the last I saw of her.

I realized something important that day. I realized that the people that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:35-40 are more than just the hungry, the thirsty, the strangers, the naked, the sick and the prisoners. I realized that sometimes they are the old as well. They are The Weak around us, the people who need our help. Will you help the needy people around you? Even the embarrasing ones?

"God will give you everything."

Thursday, February 03, 2005
CHOICE (or, get ready for a headache)

What is choice? Do we have a choice? Is everything chosen for us? What does it mean to "choose"?

Let's discuss.

I think that when we say the word "Choice", we really mean a conscious, informed assent to one particular option over another particular option. When someone lacks one of the elements above (.i.e, if a child is to young to be conscious, or informed - or perhaps if more than one option is denied to the person in question) we say that this person "has no choice". This exclusion divides the universe into two neat ontological categories: namely, those agents capable of making conscious, informed decisions - and those agents incapable of doing so. We in the Rational West tend to include plants, animals, minerals, inanimate objects, natural "forces", and nature itself in the second category, while the first category is almost exclusively reserved for ourselves as Homo Sapiens and (for the religious) God, gods and heavenly beings.

But can any Agent be truly free - truly free to choose - when it exists inside of a largely deterministic system? For example, we like to think of the human intellect has having complete freedom of choice. But isn't our intellect shaped by our genetics? Isn't the very processes that we use for reasoning and thought already determined by the structure of our brains?

Are we really "free", are we really enslaved, or do we have "freedom within boundaries"?

What about determinism?

Every effect has a cause, or so they say. Therefore, you are reading these words right now (effect) because of some cause that compelled you to do so. Did you really choose to read my blog? You might think you did, according to determinism, but in reality you read my blog due to a large number of causes and effects that have come together. Most of you wouldn't read my blog if you didn't know me personally (cause), you also wouldn't read my blog if you had no interest in my blog (cause) - and finally, you certainly wouldn't read my blog if I had never chosen to start a blog in the first place (cause) - so, because you know me and you know that I have a blog - and because you are interested in my blog, you "choose" to read my blog (effect).

But look again at the example above. How many of those causes did you really have control over? Just one: namely, that you have some interest in my blog. The other two hypothetical causes are - more or less - beyond your control. Can you really say that you aren't caught up in the swirling vortex of cause and effect if you don't control all of the causes? If causes beyond your control affect you - even slightly - can you really say that any choices you make are truly your own?

This would seem to make a pretty air-tight case for determinism. I think, however, that the Universe isn't nearly as determined as we like to think. I'm going to try and argue for a "Meta-Free Will" that extends even to non-living matter. I don't have the time to do that right now, however, so I'm going to leave you on the edge of your seat for a while.

To be continued....

"Never be afraid to doubt... and doubt in order that you may end in believing the truth."

"Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good." (Job 34.4)

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