Saturday, April 07, 2007

Christ is truly Risen, He is Risen indeed!

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing, choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes forever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!

The Lord be with you.

And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is truly right
that with full hearts and minds and voices
we should praise the unseen God,
the all-powerful Father,
and his only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christ has ransomed us with his blood,
and paid for us the price of Adam’s sin
to our eternal Father!

This is our passover feast,
when Christ, the true Lamb, is slain,
whose blood consecrates the homes of all believers.

This is the night when first you saved our fathers:
you free the people of Israel from their slavery
and led them dry-shod through the sea.

This is the night when Christians everywhere,
washed clean of sin
and freed from all defilement,
are restored to grace and grow together in holiness.

This is the night when Jesus Christ
broke the chains of death
and rose triumphant from the grave.

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

What good would life have been to us,
had Christ not come as our Redeemer?

Father, how wonderful your care for us!
How boundless your merciful love!
To ransom a slave
you gave away your Son.

O happy fault, O necessary sin of Adam,
which gained for us so great a Redeemer!

Most blessed of all nights, chosen by God
to see Christ rising from the dead!

Of this night scripture says:
“The night will be as clear as day;
it will become my light, my joy.”

The power of this holy night
dispels all evil, washes guilt away,
restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy;
it casts out hatred, brings us peace,
and humbles earthly pride.

Night truly blessed when heaven is wedded to earth
and we are reconciled with God!

Therefore, heavenly Father, in the joy of this night,
receive our evening sacrifice of praise,
your Church’s solemn offering.

Accept this Easter candle,
a flame divided but undimmed,
a pillar of fire that glows to the honor of God.

Let it mingle with the lights of heaven
and continue bravely burning
to dispel the darkness of this night!

May the morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning:
Christ, that Morning Star, who came back from the dead,
and shed his peaceful light on us all,
your Son who lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Tonight the Church celebrates the new Passover-the Passover of the Lord from death to Life, and our Passover from sin to a life filled with the Lord's grace. As we prepare to baptize those who have by grace been beckoned by the Father, we also remember the cleansing power of our own baptism. The power brought to us by the very blood of Christ shed for us on Golgotha.

We make the promises anew tonight that were made when we accepted Christ in baptism:

Do you reject sin,
so as to live in the freedom of God's children?

I do.

Do you reject the glamor of evil,
and refuse to be mastered by sin?

I do.

Do you reject Satan,
father of sin and prince of darkness?

I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth?

I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son, our Lord,
who was born of the Virgin Mary,
was crucified, died, and was buried,
rose from the dead,
and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?

I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting?

I do.

God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
has given us a new birth
by water and the Holy Spirit,
and forgiven our sins.
May God also keep us faithful
to our Lord Jesus Christ
for ever and ever.


Following is the entire Mass for the Vigil of Easter, courtesy of the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah. Prayerfully enjoy!

Labels: ,

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion

John 18:1-19:42:

When Jesus had said these things, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden, into which he entered with his disciples. And Judas also, who betrayed him, knew the place; because Jesus had often resorted thither together with his disciples. Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said to them: Whom seek ye? They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he. And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.

As soon therefore as he had said to them: I am he; they went backward, and fell to the ground. Again therefore he asked them: Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way. That the word might be fulfilled which he said: Of them whom thou hast given me, I have not lost any one. Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And the name of the servant was Malchus.

Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Then the band and the tribune, and the servants of the Jews, took Jesus, and bound him: And they led him away to Annas first, for he was father in law to Caiphas, who was the high priest of that year. Now Caiphas was he who had given the counsel to the Jews: That it was expedient that one man should die for the people. And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. And that disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the court of the high priest.

But Peter stood at the door without. The other disciple therefore, who was known to the high priest, went out, and spoke to the portress, and brought in Peter. The maid therefore that was portress, saith to Peter: Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith: I am not. Now the servants and ministers stood at a fire of coals, because it was cold, and warmed themselves. And with them was Peter also, standing, and warming himself. The high priest therefore asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him: I have spoken openly to the world: I have always taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither all the Jews resort; and in secret I have spoken nothing.

Why asketh thou me? ask them who have heard what I have spoken unto them: behold they know what things I have said. And when he had said these things, one of the servants standing by, gave Jesus a blow, saying: Answerest thou the high priest so? Jesus answered him: If I have spoken evil, give testimony of the evil; but if well, why strikest thou me? And Annas sent him bound to Caiphas the high priest. And Simon Peter was standing, and warming himself. They said therefore to him: Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said: I am not.

One of the servants of the high priest (a kinsman to him whose ear Peter cut off) saith to him: Did I not see thee in the garden with him? Again therefore Peter denied; and immediately the cock crew. Then they led Jesus from Caiphas to the governor's hall. And it was morning; and they went not into the hall, that they might not be defiled, but that they might eat the pasch. Pilate therefore went out to them, and said: What accusation bring you against this man? They answered, and said to him: If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up to thee.

Pilate therefore said to them: Take him you, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said to him: It is not lawful for us to put any man to death; That the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he said, signifying what death he should die. Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done?

Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice. Pilate saith to him: What is truth? And when he said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith to them: I find no cause in him. But you have a custom that I should release one unto you at the pasch: will you, therefore, that I release unto you the king of the Jews? Then cried they all again, saying: Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.

Then therefore, Pilate took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platting a crown of thorns, put it upon his head; and they put on him a purple garment. And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith to them: Behold, I bring him forth unto you, that you may know that I find no cause in him. (Jesus therefore came forth, bearing the crown of thorns and the purple garment.) And he saith to them: Behold the Man.

When the chief priests, therefore, and the servants, had seen him, they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith to them: Take him you, and crucify him: for I find no cause in him. The Jews answered him: We have a law; and according to the law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore had heard this saying, he feared the more. And he entered into the hall again, and he said to Jesus: Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore saith to him: Speakest thou not to me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and I have power to release thee?

Then therefore he delivered him to them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him forth. And bearing his own cross, he went forth to that place which is called Calvary, but in Hebrew Golgotha. Where they crucified him, and with him two others, one on each side, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title also, and he put it upon the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title therefore many of the Jews did read: because the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin.

Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate: Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am the King of the Jews. Pilate answered: What I have written, I have written.

The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said then one to another: Let us not cut it, but let us cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the scripture might be fulfilled, saying: They have parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture they have cast lot. And the soldiers indeed did these things. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen.

When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.

Then the Jews, (because it was the parasceve,) that the bodies might not remain on the cross on the sabbath day, (for that was a great sabbath day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. The soldiers therefore came; and they broke the legs of the first, and of the other that was crucified with him. But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it, hath given testimony, and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true; that you also may believe.

For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced. And after these things, Joseph of Arimathea (because he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews) besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus. And Pilate gave leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus. And Nicodemus also came, (he who at the first came to Jesus by night,) bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. They took therefore the body of Jesus, and bound it in linen cloths, with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

Those on Sunday who hailed the Lord as King and as the Messiah and Son of David demanded and got his crucifixion from a Roman Procurator who believed he was innocent the following Friday. The reality of Christ's innocence is magnified by the fact that one of the things we know about Pontius Pilate is that his administration of Judaea was known to be especially severe, and he was hated by the population-he normally would not have hesitated to crucify someone.

The great object lesson, of course, is that people can turn on you in a heartbeat as the political or social winds may blow in a different direction. Pilate gives us the ultimate example of a person who is swayed by the political winds-he does as the masses demand that he do, rather than do what he knows to be right. The great problem among so-called liberals who advocate for direct "democracy" is that theirs would be a world in which our leaders would constantly placed in the situation of Pilate, and they would allow the masses to be swayed by demagogues and our leaders to be swayed by the masses with no regard to the moral right.

The reason that this miscarriage of justice was allowed to take place, however, was because Christ the innocent Lamb suffered so that we might enjoy God's mercy. In truth, the first Good Friday occurred because of the ultimate act of mercy. The saddest reality in our world is not the people who do not know this Good News-though we can hope that the Gospel is brought to them. The greatest evil in the world is the fact that millions have heard the Truth of the Divine Mercy of Christ and they refuse to avail themselves of that mercy.

Like the two thieves crucified near Christ, people are given a choice to accept God's mercy or reject it. I have had many people tell me that they do not understand how a loving God could "send anyone to Hell." God does not send anyone to Hell, but He does respect people's wishes and the choices that they make. Hell is the ultimate separation from God and God's love. God unconditionally loves all humanity, and He loves people enough to respect what they desire. If a person chooses to live a life apart from God, His love, or His Law, then God will respect that and that person will live apart from God for eternity. If a person chooses to live a life close to God and respect His ways, God will respect that and will live with God for eternity. It is we who choose our eternal destiny. Today we commemorate the sacrifice that made it possible for us to have that choice.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Legislature and Triduum

The Tennessee legislature and the liquor lobby. Thoughts on Holy Thursday.

Oatney On the Air-April 5, 2007


Maundy Thursday

John 13:1-15:

Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And when supper was done, (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him,) Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and goeth to God; He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself. After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.

For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: You are not all clean. Then after he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master, and Lord; and you say well, for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.

Matthew 26:26-30:

And whilst they were at supper, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke: and gave to his disciples, and said: Take ye, and eat. THIS IS MY BODY. And taking the chalice, he gave thanks, and gave to them, saying: Drink ye all of this. FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD of the new testament, which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins. And I say to you, I will not drink from henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father. And a hymn being said, they went out unto mount Olivet.

Tonight the Church commemorates the Last Supper, the night when Christ ate the Paschal feast for the last time with His disciples. Not only is this an important day because of that fact, but Christ gave the Church its essential nature on that night. It was on the night of the Last Supper that the Lord left the Eucharist to the Church. He left us His own Body and Blood under the auspices of bread and wine, that our sins may be forgiven, and that we may proclaim the Lord's death until He returns again in Glory. As a result of this, the apostolic priesthood came into being on the first Maundy Thursday.

While this night begins the celebration of Our Lord's passion, death, and resurrection, and that is the focal point of Christian belief, Jesus did something on that night that is meant to serve as an example to us in how we conduct our daily affairs. Jesus Christ-King of Kings and Lord of Lords stooped to the lowest level and washed the feet of lowly fishermen as a servant. As Christ did, so must we also do-not merely washing feet, but in acting as a servant.

This bears a special significance to those public officials who make a profession that they are servants of Christ-they must be a servant to others. In seeking to do what is right rather than what will gain them the acclaim of others, they may not have any roads or bridges named after them-but they will have a clean conscience at the Hour of Judgment.

As Christ ate the Passover with the Apostles, we recall the words of God to Moses that the Passover will be a remembrance and a day of festival for ever. (Exodus 12:1-14) Tonight we begin the celebration of the Passover anew-the Passover of the Lord from death to Life, and the mercy granted to all of us who believe. It is a memorial to us, and we keep it with "an everlasting observance."

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Phil and immigration

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen and his changes of tune. More on the immigration debate.

Oatney On the Air-April 4, 2007


Wednesday of Holy Week

Blowin' in the wind

In the last State legislative session, Republicans attempted to move forward legislation that would have ended the "driving certificate" scheme for illegal aliens. That legislation was killed by the Democratic majority in the House (after all, Democrats would not want to offend illegal aliens, a group that has proven to be key to Democratic victories all over the country by voting for Democrats illegally).

The bill comes up again this time around, but now it looks like it will pass because the Governor has agreed to sign it. Acting like a flock of sheep following a Judas Goat, the Democratic majority in the House and Democrats in the Senate will now go along with the legislation (for the most part) because Phil Almighty has agreed to sign it.

Republicans have been pushing to bring this travesty of the law to an end for months, and now there comes a bill that will do this and the Governor agrees to sign the legislation. It is great for Tennessee to uphold our immigration laws, so I am glad the Governor is going to sign the bill. How do his allies in the press feel about this? This morning's Tennessean gives the Honorable Phil Governor all the credit for the passage of the legislation. Republicans push this for a small eternity, and the press gives their Lord and Savior all the accolades.

This is how this man carries 95 counties and enjoys the closest thing to dictatorial power in this country since Huey Long. Fortunately, there are a few Democrats who see right through him. The problem with Bredesen is not his political party (as some believe that I think), the problem with the Governor is that he has no beliefs, no passion, and I do not believe that he would stand up and really fight for anything. There are plenty of so-called "leaders" like this in both parties in this country. Bredesen is, however, the most blatant example I have ever seen.

Phil Bredesen holds up his finger, and whichever way the wind happens to blow, Phil goes that direction like a kite.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bill Dunn fights the power

Tennessee State Rep. Bill Dunn (R-Knoxville) takes on the liquor lobby and upholds the will of the people.

Oatney On the Air-April 3, 2007


Tuesday of Holy Week

Conserving Tennessee's rural heritage

Last night Nicole and I attended the monthly meeting of the Riverdale Saddle Club, of which we are both members. Nicole has been a member of the club since she was a girl, and I have joined the club since we have been married. Though it is home to equine enthusiasts from multiple counties (we live in Jefferson County) and all over Knox County, the majority of members live in or near the Riverdale Community along the French Broad River.

Amidst the normal club business of preparing for the horse show season, Nicole's uncle Bob Wolfenbarger rose to inform everyone that if they intended to maintain the way of life to which they had grown accustomed, they now needed to fight for it. Developers, corporate executives, and county officials are already having their way by putting a large industrial park near the area-largely because no one showed up to oppose it. Now the county, the land speculators, developers, and others want their way with the area between the two rivers, including Riverdale. This is a traditionally agricultural area with rolling hills and small farms-Saddle Club members are known to ride horses along the backroads. Bobby reminded members what happened with the industrial park despite known and widespread opposition, largely because no one showed up to community meetings. "If you do not show up to make your voice heard, a politician will decide what happens to this area for you." He said that if some developers have their way, the day will come when members would not be able to ride their horses on the open road in the community anymore.

I am in no way anti-business, and I do have a real understanding that the only thing that does not change is the reality that everything will change. However, part of what it means to be a conservative is that you wish to conserve certain ways of doing things. The agrarian way of life is a critical part of Tennessee heritage that is well worth preserving. To put it more succinctly in Nicole's words "I do not want our children to have mere pictures of Mamaw's farm." I agree with Nicole. Thus far East Knox County and (thank God)
Jefferson County have managed to avoid the scars of over-development, but that day is fast fading for people in East Knox County. The industrialists will come with their industrial parks, and the land speculators with their subdivisions, and will attempt to destroy the last vestiges of agrarianism left in Knox County.

With some in Knox County beginning again to
sing the siren song of consolidation and metropolitan government, if that does come it will be the beginnings of the death pangs for the pieces of agrarian life in the then-formerly free Knox County. At issue, however, is more than just what might happen to Knox County. The larger issue is whether some tie to the land even matters anymore. Without a tie to the land, we are fast becoming a rootless and a valueless society-one whose morals are determined by the television and Hollywood, and whose work ethic is determined by superiors with no sense of family or place. In destroying the land our forefathers built, and destroying our tie to that land, we are destroying the the very fabric of the Republic.

We see the continual decline in the rights of farmers and small landowners evidenced in the transformation of the Tennessee Farm Bureau from a society of farmers and landowners that offered insurance to its members in which you had to own property to join to nothing more than a glorified insurance company that anyone can join. It is no longer an effective advocate for the small landowner.

Not everyone can be a farmer (I'm not) and not everyone can own land (largely because these developers that city people hunger for drive up the price), but the land and people who work it are as much a part of our heritage as
Davy Crockett, John Sevier, Andrew Jackson, or William Blount. As conservatives, we should want to conserve rural Tennessee and rural America as much as possible. If preserving the way of life that built this country for the sake of our children and our children's children is not motivation enough, then let conservatives remember that conservative votes are not found in big cities.

We can be pro-business and pro-rural America, but as conservatives we ought to be able to walk the fine line and not promote one at the cost of the other. If I may be so bold as to paraphrase a Democrat: We should not place upon the farmer's brow this crown of thorns, nor crucify rural America upon a cross of "development."

Labels: ,

Monday, April 02, 2007

Taxes and baseball

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen's taxation double standard. Baseball scores on opening day.

Oatney On the Air-April 2, 2007


Monday of Holy Week

The Governor's sin-tax double standard

Governor Phil Bredesen presented his tobacco tax hike proposal (to support education, he says) to the General Assembly as both a way to support and enhance Tennessee's education system as well as to encourage people to stop smoking. When people begin to ask the legitimate question of "what happens to the revenue stream if people do stop smoking," then the Governor, his staff, and his legislative allies begin to backpedal and say that the revenue stream won't really stop-after all, this is Tennessee and people are not really going to stop using tobacco products.

The Governor's latest change in mentality (one of many throughout his administration) might have some basis in reality were it not for the fact that he is also pushing for a statewide smoking ban, and I can guarantee that this will cause many people to quit by virtue of the fact that they will not be able to smoke anywhere in the State outside of their own home.

The smoking ban, sponsored in the House by Democratic Leader Gary Odom, and in the Senate by Knoxville's very own RINO Sen. Jamie Woodson, would effectively make it illegal to smoke anywhere in public would almost certainly convince Tennesseans to kick the habit by the millions. While the American Lung Association might be happy about this, no one has managed to explain just how it is the State will replace the massive amount of lost revenue should the ban pass.

If businesses want to vonluntarily ban smoking on their premeses, more power to them. Many businesses have done so without seeing a substantial loss in revenue. The State can ban smoking in State buildings-again, fine-the State ought to have that kind of control over its own facilities if it so wishes. However, for the State to uniformly impose a smoking ban on all businesses in Tennessee without the consent of all business owners is nothing short of fascism. It is telling business owners that they may own the business, but the State really has total control over them. Businesses ought to have the choice whether or not to ban smoking. If the people want businesses in their town to be smoke-free, it will be so if people let that be known-that is what free-enterprise is all about.

In addition to the smoking ban, which also increases the cigarette tax within the text of the bill, a related piece of legislation would raise the tax on chew and snuff from 6.6% to a whopping 25 cents per ounce. A quarter an ounce is nothing short of tyranny and is highly reminiscent of the Stamp Act and the Tea Act in colonial times. Nonetheless, this would be less of a problem if the Governor actually favored a real tax swap.

When people here in White Pine (where tobacco is the number one cash crop) talk about this legislation, they say they are for it, but there is one major caveat-nearly everyone I have spoken with about these bills is operating under the mistaken belief that the grocery tax will be reduced by an amount corresponding to the increase in tobacco taxes. As soon as it is explained to them that this will not be the case, and that so far the only proposed reduction in the grocery tax is 1% (a paltry sum compared to the level of the tobacco tax increase) , then folks' tune changes very quickly indeed. People in places far from Nashville still have the idea that an increase in sin taxes will mean an equal decrease in food taxes. The Governor is now openly selling his tax hike as something that will not only increase revenue in the short term, but as something that will continue to massively increase revenue. If this is the case, the State needs to quit spending any funds to try and get people to stop smoking-it needs the revenue flow to be maintained.

Thankfully, neither the smoking ban/cigarette tax hike, or the snuff and chew tax increase have gotten anywhere in committee yet. Unless the Governor is ready to talk about equal and corresponding tax trade-offs, we ought not pass his latest tax hike-not with a $500 million dollar surplus.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Points shaving, Final Four, and Baseball

The Sunday Sports Final: A points shaving scandal in Toledo. The NCAA Final Four and National Basketball Championship. Baseball's opening day. With guest co-host Matt Daley.

Oatney On the Air-April 1, 2007


Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion

The Lord of all Creation presents himself riding into Jerusalem on a donkey's back.

Luke 19:29-40:

And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania, unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples, Saying: Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose him, and bring him hither.

And if any man shall ask you: Why do you loose him? you shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of his service. And they that were sent, went their way, and found the colt standing, as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: Why loose you the colt? But they said: Because the Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they set Jesus thereon.

And as he went, they spread their clothes underneath in the way. And when he was now coming near the descent of mount Olivet, the whole multitude of his disciples began with joy to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works they had seen, Saying: Blessed be the king who cometh in the name of the Lord, peace in heaven, and glory on high! And some of the Pharisees, from amongst the multitude, said to him: Master, rebuke thy disciples. To whom he said: I say to you, that if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out.

Jesus didn't stop the people from proclaiming the truth of who He was even though many of those same people would be calling for his execution by Friday morning. What changed so many hearts in just one week? For years, there has been a school of thought that says that this change of heart had to do with the fact that people were expecting Christ to restore the Kingdom of Israel to earthly glory and depose Roman rule over Palestine. I am certain that this mentality played a role in people's quick change of mind, but I think there was something else at work as well.

In the course of the final days of his life, Jesus said many things that were uncomfortable to a whole lot of people. It went well beyond "love thy neighbor," Christ challenged the social and political power structure of his day. It wasn't Roman rule that Jesus was speaking out on, but the coziness of the religious and political leaders of the Palestine of his day with that rule. They didn't like it, but they tolerated a host of abuses and usurpations of God's law in order to get along with the Romans-they sold out. Christ rebuked those who sold God short in order to simply get along. There was also the other extreme: Christ spoke out with even greater vehemence against those who advocated a violent overthrow of the Roman regime. In the Jerusalem Bible translation we see some evidence of this when it tells us in a negative sense that Barabbas, who was released in Christ's place "was a revolutionary."

Neither side could stand the message Jesus was bringing when he began to preach it in Jerusalem. So often our people beg for honest leaders, but when those leaders tell us the truth, we tend to cast them aside and disregard them-the way those crowds first acclaimed Christ as hero and king, and then demanded that he be crucified.


Locations of visitors to this page
Profile Visitor Map - Click to view visits
Create your own visitor map