Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sports Stadiums and Public Funding

I enjoy sports on occasion. I do not agree with the exorbitant salaries that some of these athletes are being paid and I think that is a major reason as to why there are so many problems in sports, but that is an issue for another day and time.

Here in Minnesota, the Legislature has been consumed with possible bills regarding funding for three stadiums for the Twins, Vikings, and the U of M Gophers. I have no problem with public funding for the Gophers stadium because the University is a public institution. However, my disappointment is with regard to the Twins and Vikings which are two privately owned teams.

Here is the letter to the editor that I sent regarding the recent activity regarding the potential sales tax increase to fund these stadiums:

I am very disappointed in how the stadium situation is being handled. First of all, if any privately owned sports teams want a stadium, let the owners build it. Having the owners beg for money when they have millions of dollars is unbelievable, its like corporate welfare for the rich! Secondly, I am disappointed with the lawmakers who have no regard for the citizens of this state by bypassing them (illegally?) to force a tax increase to fund these stadiums. It is my understanding that ANY tax increase was to be presented to the voters as a referendum for the voters to decide. If this tax increase goes through, then we as citizens of this state should show our appreciation for those elected officials by voting them out of office for betraying the public trust by failing to represent their constituents. Remember the cry from the Revolutionary War, "Taxation without representation"

Looks like history is repeating itself in an ugly fashion.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Seminary education

On the Sharper Iron forum there is a discussion going on about the importance and validity of a seminary education. Here is my contribution to the discussion:

I think that my seminary education is a valuable resource and a tool. Yes, I said a tool. It is not the end all of everything, but it is one of many tools that God is using in my life to make me a better person.

I enjoy seminary and I am looking forward to the day when I will be finished, but for now I am making the best of the situation. If I did not believe in my seminary education then I am wasting my money by paying tuition, depriving my family by being gone so much, and wasting God's time by not redeeming the time.

I do not think that my education will solve my problems or give me all the answers, but it will help me now and in the future.

Seminary is not for everyone, just like Bible college. You have to be committed and disciplined. You will learn a lot about yourself and other people in the process. It is a place where you can grow and learn, instead of the popular stereotype of people stagnating in their Christian life, thus the term of derision "cemetery"

One of the best parts of my seminary experience is the opportunity that I have to serve as a Pastoral intern in my local church. Even though it is an academic requirement, I would not trade the practical hands-on experience that I am receiving this year. The only regret is that the internship program is only for one calendar year and not for my entire seminary experience.
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