Friday, September 10, 2010

On not blogging and blogging again (Wazzup?)

It is fair to say, "I told you so."
On July 29th I said I was probably going to be "out of it" or take a "hiatus" for a bit. Of course the characterizations of that post began immediately. In some quarters it was said I "quit." Other people simply didn't read down the page. In the latter case I realize I'm not the beginning and end of their day, so I get it. Pretty much outside my immediate family, I'm not the beginning or end of anyone's day. In the former case, all I will say is "you wish."

As far as months go to take a dive into the idle side of the pool in blogging, August is a good one. Government never illustrates how important it is in our lives than in August when those bums decide to take time off. Having injected themselves into every aspect of our lives, when they take a vacation (no one can interrupt their plans, you see both how annoying they have become (that's the importance part) and how useless they are.

If you're moldering in Jail, you're going to keep doing that, if you need a Government agency which has made themselves a Machiavellian necessity, you're out of luck. In short it's clear in August how much Government dominates our lives and the news, and in some ways it reveals tragically how little they are really necessary. It's a great time to not be blogging and I wasn't.

Your Modern Pharisee will (God willing) successfully transition from an Automotive Finance Manager to "Something Else" by about the third week of this month. The end date for my training is a little murky. It sorta depends on my progress and the availability of work which my employer really doesn't want to discuss in detail with me. That's ok.

Once again to the great disappointment of my detractors, I have cleared the hurdles of background checks that were in this case the most extensive I have ever endured and come out smelling like a rose. No my dear opponents, there's nothing criminal in my past lurking around waiting to be found. It was kinda fun in retrospect to deal with the one issue of "my arrest" in Ocala Florida back in the 90's. It ended up with Florida saying "what arrest, there ain't no stinking arrest." Someone had listed a bogus arrest in a database by a company that has it's headquarters in....

....wait for it....

Dallas Texas.

Hmmmmm.... Maybe I didn't remember "my arrest" because it never happened.

Ya think?

You think, I'll wonder.

I keep warning that the focus of the Modern Pharisee will be shifting, and then I kinda don't shift. There are reasons.

For one, I love politics but it's so futile. I've promised to write on the topic, so I guess I should, but again, it's so futile.

For another, the pickings in the FLDS cases are now slim. The phase of appeal in Texas will begin soon as some of the plea bargains facilitated appeal, since they preserved the right of appeal. Men "convicted" of their crimes in those cases plead "no contest" and essentially agreed with the state that if the state were allowed to present certain evidence a jury would convict them and it was useless to fight that inevitability. They did however state that they'd like the benefit of appeals, and since the transcript of a plea bargain is short, those cases have gone straight to appeal. As with the cases of the children where one favorable ruling sent all the children back, one successful appeal of the warrant in any FLDS case will void every conviction obtained so far.

That brings me to the nascent status of Warren Jeffs as a victim or martyr or even hero. He could go either way at this point. Essentially a martyr is a victim of a particular narrow variety. Warren could just be another wave tossed victim drowning in his oppression, or he could be a martyr for his cause. I hope at least for the latter. Increasingly Warren S. Jeffs whose trail of dismissed charges and overturned convictions is looking like a man wronged.

Without meaning to insult his legal help, he doesn't have what is generally recognized as the best legal minds in the country helping him. They are good lawyers to be sure, and they may even be great lawyers. His religion's pilfered coffers don't offer the image of a man with unlimited funds hiring the best attorneys money can buy who in turn would produce an OJ/Johnnie Cochran type verdict. His attorneys' track records are poor in his case in the first few rounds. They lose, and then they fight back. Then they start winning.

The bottom line is that Warren can be portrayed, if portrayed skillfully, as being downtrodden, victimized, persevering and being willing to suffer martyrdom for a cause. That cause can be extended in it's relevance to all of us, again, if the portrayal of Warren and his travails are accurate and if they are sold to the media in terms of what he does for all of us. Warren Jeffs can be everyman fighting the limitless power of the state to bend laws and processes for the purposes of destroying both a man and the faith he represents. If this can be done, he is at least a martyr. If he can live through this, and win, he can be a hero. Ultimately most of us need heroes, not martyrs. Martyrs die for a cause, Heroes win and allow us to believe we can "fight the power/the man/city hall" and live to tell about it. Really, that's what most of us want to do. If forced to fight for a good cause we want to win or have our champion win and live so that we can go back to living our anonymous lives. Anonymous lives of personal freedom. That in a nutshell is what Warren and the FLDS represent at this time. A focal point for personal and religious freedom in a free country.

The last matter of housekeeping is the progress of the "new denomination." I am beginning to transition into a "pastoral" role but the denomination is not formed yet. The small group of people I am involved with want urgently to remain in the places we were planted and seek and pray to God that this be so. This involves submitting to the existing authorities in the churches we are attending if we are still in them. The process that a month ago could have taken a week or two weeks has stretched out into a much longer period of time, but seems to be entering an end game that will have a nucleus of persons in those churches, "unchurched." That will be when we start.

As a consequence the new denomination will begin, again, God willing. It will begin as essentially a cloned version of the Orthodox Presbyterian denomination with a rewrite of the Westminster Confession of Faith's chapter 24 and a sort of WCF convention call to address other perceived deficiencies of the Confession. The proposed new wording of point one in Chapter 24 will be: "Marriage is to be between one man and one woman. It is it lawful before the LORD for a man to have more than one wife, but not for woman to have more than one husband, at the same time." The old wording was: "Marriage is to be between one man and one woman: neither is it lawful for any man to have more than one wife, nor for any woman to have more than one husband, at the same time." Other unisexed language with regard to divorce will be changed and screeds against "Papists" will be deleted. Other than that the WCF will remain intact and the Book of Church order used by the OPC will be adopted. Everything will be examined ultimately, but that is the first order of business and the basis of our separation from existing denominations. As soon as the denomination is large enough, the "Convention" to examine the WCF and book of church order will be held.

This will become my primary task. My job will become for funds, not personal fulfillment (though I do like my new job) much as Paul was a tentmaker. I will follow and comment avidly with interest and commitment when it comes to FLDS cause. It think it has widespread impact in preserving and restoring our liberty if the cases go their way. I have committed to the FLDS to be in prayer for Warren's release and the overturning of the convictions of the men in Texas. I will offer them up in prayer to God that this be done, if it be his will. I think if it is not his will to do so, the days will be dark for all of us.

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