Sunday, October 31, 2004

'Unto thy seed I have given this land.' From the moment of God's covenant with Abraham in the Old Testament, the idea that a people are chosen by God has had a central role in shaping national identity. Chosen Peoples argues powerfully that sacred belief remains central to national identity, even in an increasingly secular, globalized modern world. In this important new study, Anthony D. Smith goes in search of the deep Judeo-Christian roots of the many manifestations of national identity. This rich and timely contribution to current debates about nationalism explains the complex historical reasons behind often violent modern conflicts around issues of land, culture, religion, and politics.

Public Service Announcement

[got this in an e-mail the other day.]

Dear Blogger,

I'm writing to you because I think we might feel the same about what is at stake in the election this coming Tuesday, and I was hoping you might spread the word about a new tool we have built that could make a real difference. allows anyone, anywhere to make quick encouraging phone calls to young, low-income and minority voters in swing states. Progressive, nonpartisan groups have registered over 2 million of these new voters this year. If they vote, it will make a major difference, and that's why there are so many suppression efforts aimed at them. I hope you can spread the word about VoterCall. We launched a few days ago and have grown to 14,000 volunteers and rising fast. The more volunteers we have the more phone calls we can make. Millions need to be made to get the turnout we need. I include a blurb below on VoterCall that you might post, and attach a logo.

VoterCall is a project of Res Publica, supported by the National Council of Churches, TrueMajority, Rock the Vote, and National Voice (The November 2 Campaign)

Many thanks for your time,
Ricken Patel
Res Publica

I’m mourning for something
And I don’t know what.
This wave of melancholy has with a brute force,
Like a wave crashing onto the shore.

I wish I knew what I’m mourning for.
Nothing dramatic has happened to me.
I should be happy.
My old friends are appearing again.

Why must this mourning be happening?
Is it the influx of memories from my past?
Is it the realization that I may be stuck here?
I only wish I knew the answer.

{from Mourning by Shawn Allison}

Saturday, October 30, 2004

[from Dyer Straits by Stephen LaRose in Planet S]

Does the world have an "American problem?"

That's the question noted journalist Gwynne Dyer is posing these days. He says no matter who wins the upcoming American presidential and congressional elections, the United States of America faces a long, slow slide into second-tier status.

"The United States has been the world's greatest economic and military power for the past 80 years," he said in a recent speech at the University of Regina. "We're in the earliest days of the time that they will lose it--but they will lose it."...

The United States has maintained its position of being the preeminent world power through its technological, military, and economic might. Combined with a relatively stable economic and political system, the U.S. dollar became the economic keystone of the world economy, much as the British pound was at the height of its empire, Dyer says.

But the dollar's worldwide economic cachet came from the American economy's stability-- something that looks to be a thing of the past, thanks in no small part to current economic policies in Washington.

Friday, October 29, 2004

What Must I Do With These People?

[referred via Holy Weblog]

Recently a Christian from Australia wrote to ask, "Why are American Christians so bloodthirsty? Why do they support the war in Iraq, no matter how many innocent people are made to suffer? We just don't understand why they're willing to kill other people so that they can feel more safe – it's so selfish!"

She's right, and she's wrong. She's right about the fact that many Christians in America will blindly support whichever war their president promotes, with the assumption that his much-advertised praying guarantees us that God approves of all those bombs and missiles, and even the inevitable collateral damage.

This "don't worry, be happy" stance of pro-war Christians can make those of us who suffer at the news of civilian deaths almost green with envy: How do they go blithely to church, pray and give an offering, then go eat some nice mashed potatoes and gravy at Cracker Barrel with nary a worry about the families being bombed or shot or crushed by their own military at that very moment?

But she's wrong in her assumption that all Christians in the U.S. find civilian deaths an acceptable price to (let someone else) pay for Mr. Bush's ultimate goals. Many, including those in the evangelical community, were raised to obey Jesus' teachings above any other, and suffer mightily whenever they learn that more innocent people have lost their lives to this terrorizing "war on terror."{the full post by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst}

[referred via the Weary Pilgrim]

Election Day in the United States (for all of you overseas readers), is only 5 days away and many Christians will be going to the polls to vote. Hopefully they will be critically looking at their faith and voting accordingly to their distinctly Christian convictions. While I have already voted during the early voting time period in my state, I have continued to take great interest in the election as it has taken on a very religious tone.

The religious tone of this campaign season has been well documented and I personally have had multiple mixed feelings about the religious rhetoric that spews from the candidates mouth (especially the President). But apparently this religious rhetoric is appeals to some folks in spite of the history of the candidates’ policies and actions in office.
{full post from Icthus, emphasis mine}

Bipolar Spirituality [from Bruce's World]:

Like Job many people suffering from depression are living on religious platitudes and are not able to face the reality of their suffering.{full post}

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Making things right is not the same as doing right things.

Being right may mean being unpopular, but being unpopular doesn't mean being right.

i was raised by a mother (the real bobbie) who would cry at super-market openings while that year's fair queen poorly sang the national anthem. she was the most patriotic person i knew. she taught me that war was good for the economy and got things moving again.

that folded into an eschatology that thirsted for war as a 'sign of the times' - wars and rumors of wars were sure indication we were just moments away from the rapture....

if you start to listen to gwb critcally you start to hear that he hints that american/democracy and freedom itself is the 'great white hope'. that american democracy is going to restore hope and freedom to the world. i'm sorry, but that is heresy. jesus is the only hope for freedom. gwb is trying to do what the disciples asked jesus to do, and he wanted no part of it.

---from this post by emerging sideways, emphasis mine

Humans find it quite difficult to live with one another even during the best of times. Some of us aren't emotionally wired for intimacy. Some of us have crippling flaws that make relationships difficult. In fact, some of history's greatest contributors have been relationship-challenged. As an adult, Isaac Newton shunned personal intimacy in all its forms, preferring his laboratory of the mind to living specimens. Henri Nouwen, who inspired many of us to move deeper into relationships with God and one another, had trouble himself developing intimacy with others. Relational disorders abound among creative people....

But we live in a culture that makes relationships harder while stimulating the hunger for relationships. The more globally the market economy structures itself, the more relentless the assault on all nonmarket social relations. [from Out of the Question...Into the Mystery by Leonard Sweet,quoted in this post via Jordon Cooper]

A friend of mine once told me,"From what I understand of celibacy, it's a lot like fasting (chastity is more like nutrition). Celibacy shouldn't be seen as deprivation, but appreciating the gift of another and focusing on God in the meantime. Therefore, marriage shouldn't be seen as an escape from celibacy and chastity. If people do, then they do more damage to the sacrament than single celibates. " --from this post at Deluded Wine

The Vote Needs You!

(c)Philip Leiter, 2004 [of The Door Magazine Chat Closet fame]

September 11, 2004

Dear Prayer Team Member,

Not since our BRAVE CHRISTIAN forefathers fight for (proper) religious freedom has there been a more important event than the election of our BORN AGAIN J President, George “W” (stands for Will-Of-God ) Bush.

Please consider purchasing your PRAY THE VOTE: Special Election 2004 kit. For only $49.95 you will receive the PRAY THE VOTE: Special Election 2004 embroidered cap, the PRAY THE VOTE: Special Election 2004 coffee mug, the PRAY THE VOTE: Special Election 2004 “official” stationary, complete with the “W” autograph (remember, W stands for Will-Of-God).

You will have the ASSURANCE of knowing that when your check clears central accounting, you will receive the following blessings:

1. A substantial reduction in your mortgage interest rate*
2. Preferred seating at your house of worship
3. Two free REMISSION OF SINS sessions led by our own Dr. Binkey LaRue.
4. A free copy of Dr. Laura’s latest book: God Hates Fags, and I Can Prove It.
5. A full year of CLEAN TOILETS , our PRESIDENTIAL PRAYER TEAM’S celebrated housekeeping program now in it’s fourth year of maintaining a Godly cleanliness.

Good Christian, should you fail to PRAY George W. Bush into the White House this November, much evil will be WROUGHT upon this great nation.

Should the SECULAR CANDIDATE prevail, all (proper) Christian thought will be IMMEDIATELY outlawed, BIBLE BELIEVING churches will be forced to pay a hefty worship tax, all PRAYER will be subject to approval by a board of Heinz Catsup trustees in an office located in - gasp- Boston, and underarm deodorant will be BANNED.

Prayer Partners, we simply cannot allow this to happen! Your tax deductible** payment is urgently needed to prevent these great CALAMITIES.

Simply complete the attached form, staple your W-2s where indicated, and return in the POSTAGE PAID envelope.

DON’T DELAY! Even as we prepare this appeal, the DARK ONE is working overtime to make sure the SECULAR CANDIDATE wins this November.


Karl Rove
(or a secretary with authorization to use this name and rubber stamp thingie)

*requires an additional donation to PRAYER TEAM of the equivalent of your first three months mortgage payment, successful enrolment in our PRAYER DOLLARS mortgage loan program, and a routine, three year, monthly financial commitment to PRAYER TEAM not less than 10% of your GROSS annual salary (combined).

**not actually tax deductible, but we’ll place your membership certificate on the bulletin board outside our cubicle in the IRS headquarters.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The Vote You Have

In this bracing call to serious thought, esteemed biblical theologian Patrick Miller looks to the First Commandment in the fight against the misappropriation of theological themes for political ends—''the coalescence of God and country, the takeover of the language of faith in the speech of politics, and the confusion of loyalty with obedience.''

Horsley brings his considerable skills to bear on the timely questions concerning religious rhetoric and empire-building. How do the teachings of Jesus affect our understanding of the uses of power? How can we understand the invocation of God in modern political rhetoric? These questions and more are explored in order to help readers develop a clearer sense of modern religious and political issues.

How is it that the same Christian beliefs can be used both to bolster an oppressive regime and rally opposition to it? Are there any norms intrinsic to Christian belief that dictate its political import?

Delving into the complex aspects of Christian beliefs in their historical, theological, and social diversity, Tanner here offers a rigorous and sustained analysis of the relations of belief to attitudes and action.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Windsor Report:

The shorthand version [discovered by Finking Out Loud]

We all have ideological leanings, based on our backgrounds, enviroment, education, and experiences but does that worldview have to define how we see the world. Afred P. Sloan used to say, "The facts made the decision for me". Sometimes I wonder if instead of facts, our dislike or fear of the people presenting the idea clouds our ideas....

Listening to the other side, not with the idea of debate but for the purpose of learning. If any group of people who should be bi-partisan and be able to listen to people of all worldview and not be threatened, it should be us but at the end of the day, it is us who have become some of the most partisan of supporters.
--from this post at Jordon Cooper
It would be really helpful to a great many of us if in belonging to the so-called “institutional” church (read, “existing congregations”) we didn’t feel backed into ‘dead-end alleys;’ if we didn’t feel voiceless and powerless to be agents for genuine change, renewal, and reform. It would be wonderful if we didn’t feel that the way forward being presented for our ‘approval’ was a riskless, unimaginative, dull, pre-determined one-way street. It would be refreshing if the limited range of experiences around belonging didn’t leave us numbly and exhaustedly believing we had no option but to leave, still not having found what we’ve been looking for and hoping for. Many of us are younger, but we are not the church of the future, we are the church of the present just as you are.

We don’t want to expend all of our energy and creativity on in-fighting that is ultimately pointless, fruitless, and a hindrance to the work of Spirit and gospel in the world.
--from this post at Prodigal Kiwi Blog

Eric of The Door Magazine Chat Closet and The Writer's Outpost fame now blogs at Blog of the Lost Dog.

Knowledge is one thing - but wisdom is another. What if I become wise? (Solomon should know.) But then he concludes that it is "wisdom" that is making him realize the futility of it all. Would it not be better to be a fool and never have to worry about all of this? Meaningless.

And then he comes to the one good thing - "to enjoy your work and accept your lot in life."
{the full post at My Thoughts}

Monday, October 25, 2004

Truth is found with promise and struggle.

E  Half-Truth  E

X Half-Lie C

Saturday, October 23, 2004

[from The Wonderful World of Gary]

The more I get involved in political discussions, the more distraught I get. There are a lot of folks out there who can see beyond Democratic or Republican party lines, beyond Left-Wing and Right-Wing rhetoric, but there are just far too many who simply can not.

What bothers me the most is hearing this wrong/right, black/white, us/them, closed-minded mentality coming from kids. {the full post}

Friday, October 22, 2004

Dime's Worth of Difference?

[referred by The Eagle and Child]

As has been the case for the past few presidential elections, on Election Day I will almost certainly cast my vote once again for none of the above. Here is why:

Seven issues seem to me to be paramount at the national level: race, the value of life, taxes, trade, medicine, religious freedom and the international rule of law. In my mind, each of these issues has a strong moral dimension. My position on each is related to how I understand the traditional Christian faith that grounds my existence. Yet neither of the major parties is making a serious effort to consider this particular combination of concerns or even anything remotely resembling it.

In searching for a party that is working for something close to my convictions, I am not necessarily looking for a platform supported by overtly expressed religious beliefs. It would be enough to find candidates promoting such positions by reference to broad social goals and general patterns of American democratic tradition. In fact, because each of these issues is of vital national concern for people of all faiths (and none), I am eager to find public voices willing to defend convictions similar to my own in generic social terms rather than with specifically religious arguments.

My disillusionment with the major parties and their candidates comes from the fact that I do not see them willing to consider the political coherence of this combination of convictions or willing to reason about why their positions should be accepted—much less willing to break away from narrow partisanship to act for the public good. Broad principles and particular interests have never in the history of the republic been more confusedly mixed than they are today.
---from this article

[from The Globe and Mail]

In the rush to ban same-sex marriages, voters in several states are voting on propositions that not only affect homosexual couples, but threaten to cut off benefits for millions of unmarried heterosexual couples.

Eleven states have initiatives on the Nov. 2 ballot aimed at amending state constitutions to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

In seven states, including battleground states such as Ohio and Michigan, the amendment would go even further and ban civil unions or any arrangement that imitates marriage, regardless of the gender of the participants.

The local battles over same-sex marriage have ramifications for the presidential campaign because they provided a rallying point to mobilize the Christian right to get out and vote.

---from the article States ask voters to define marriage By SHAWN MCCARTHY

Bombs+People = Liberated Souls NOT People
--noted by Been There...Still There

This brings up an interesting question: If the world became a suicide bomber, what message would it leave behind?

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Songs of the Christian Right

Doesn't the Religious Right sound like this sometimes?

[to the tune of "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus"]


I have decided to follow Dubya/ I have decided to follow Dubya/ I have decided to follow Dubya/

No turning back/ No turning back

Verse 1:

The right before me, the rest behind me/ The right before me, the rest behind me/ The right before me, the rest behind me/

No turning back/ No turning back


Verse 2:

Some think I'm crazy, still I will follow/ Some think I'm crazy, still I will follow/ Some think I'm crazy, still I will follow/

No turning back/ No turning back


...and on the topic of Senator Kerry:

[to the tune of "Kumbyah"]

Kerry's wrong, my Lord, Kerry's wrong
Kerry's wrong, my Lord, Kerry's wrong
Kerry's wrong, my Lord, Kerry's wrong
Oh Lord, Kerry's wrong

On abortion, Lord, Kerry's wrong
On abortion, Lord, Kerry's wrong
On abortion, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Oh Lord, Kerry's wrong

About safety, Lord, Kerry's wrong
About safety, Lord, Kerry's wrong
About safety, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Oh Lord, Kerry's wrong

No convictions, Lord, Kerry's wrong
No convictions, Lord, Kerry's wrong
No convictions, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Oh Lord, Kerry's wrong

Not quite mainstream, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Not quite mainstream, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Not quite mainstream, Lord, Kerry's wrong
Oh Lord, Kerry's wrong...

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Staying without questions and leaving without answers are foolish alternatives.

[referred via JesusPolitics]

I am sick of reading letters to the editor and editorials that paint Democrats and liberals as anti-God and anti-American and that portray conservative Republicans as the only true Christian patriots. We know that many Democrats are pro-choice and many support gay issues and this troubles most evangelicals. Democrats also support causes that should be of Christian concern that go untouched by Republicans. I have listed some in the above paragraphs. True prophetic vision sees that there is great need for repentance on the left and the right. The effects of powerful lobbyists, special interest groups, greed and corruption abound on both sides of the aisles of Congress. God sees it all and so should Christians. Christian voters need to see that God’s heart breaks over more than just a few political and moral issues. It is time to take off our blinders and mourn for the sorry state of affairs that is American politics.
--from Wasn't Jesus A Liberal? by Gary Vance

[referred via JesusPolitics]

Bush’s religious backers like Haggard point to the president’s policy agenda as evidence of his spiritual ideals. The Christian spirit of compassionate conservatism, they say, infuses Bush’s commitment to policies like faith-based social services; many believers hold that a poverty of the spirit is at least partly to blame for such social ills as drug abuse and crime. Bush’s stance on abortion and other so-called life issues is also in concordance with the conservative Christian worldview. And the administration’s proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, while theologically dubious, certainly resonates among more traditionalist believers. Even the war in Iraq, on which Bush famously consulted his heavenly (rather than earthly) father, was proffered as an Old Testament-style battle between the forces of good and The Enemy, as such Christians refer to Satan. “Our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil,” the president declared after September 11.

But the aforementioned issues are Christological softballs, as it were. After all, Bush’s positions on such matters land him safely in Republican territory. Never once has the president crossed party lines to uphold Christian principles such as aiding the poor or caring for the environment, for example. Much more of the president’s record reveals a man with a far deeper commitment to partisanship, or just simply being right -- even at the expense of clear biblical teaching.
-- from As God As His Witness by Ayelish McGarvey

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

For most of Monday it appeared that only conservative Episcopalians felt angry or disappointed in the Windsor Report. Their expectations were fed by inaccurate Times (London) reports of the Episcopal Church being expelled or, as recently as this weekend, of a "star chamber" judging whether entire provinces should be expelled.

It's appropriate, then, that the Times now brings this scorching commentary by John Shelby Spong, the retired bishop of Newark and a pioneer of ordaining openly gay clergy.

Spong blasts the report as "both an effort at damage control and an inadequate understanding of its subject matter." Conservative Anglicans would agree, but for entirely different reasons.
---from this post at GetReligion

By Ralph from The Door Magazine Chat Closet

Ode to a Ruler

Ah, rulers, how we love thee
wood, plastic, metal agree
when lines are straight
and when they're curvy.
Yet in a world that's topsy-turvy
no truth exists, "to each his own"
Objectivity? Wind-blown.
No statement is always true
(except for that last one, quiet, you.)
Your morality can go to hell.
And as for the world? Well...
Whe we see it needs a fix,
we go and blame the
measuring sticks.

[from here]

With some justification, the U.S. claims to be the mother of modern liberal democracy and has pioneered widely accepted concepts such as the separation of church and state, and the rights of individuals.

That long tradition of liberalism has become the central theme of the current presidential debates, more than such issues as the wars in Iraq and on terror, or the economy, outsourcing of jobs, medicare and the impact of tax breaks,.

And, while neither side is standing up for history, Sen. John Kerry clearly has become the poster boy for liberal politics.

The outcome of this heated discussion has the potential to have great impact on Canada and Europe. The U.S. may have pioneered liberal democracy, but it has become a mainstay of modern governance. Should the forces of liberalism lose in the U.S., the tide will be hard to hold back at our borders....

This attack on liberalism stems from a deep sense within America that its religious values are under attack. And this sense of dread is greater than concern over a terror attack or economic collapse.

Even those who have doubts about Bush's ability as a president support him because they fear the liberal alternative.
-- from 'Liberal' label cause for fear in U.S. politics in The Star Phoenix

Saturday, October 16, 2004

from Hugo Schwyzer in one post, noted by Jesus Politics:

We are a bitterly divided nation. We are also, as Christians, living in a divided body. Many of us on the Christian left find we have more in common with secular liberals than with our own fellow Christians on the right. Many right-wing Christians feel more in cultural solidarity with conservative non-believers or practitioners of other faiths than they do with us. While that is understandable, I think it reflects badly on all of us. {fuller quote here}

[noted by]

Making a conscious decision to separate myself from the destructive politics I was involved in meant that I couldn't remain silent. My own remorse was a simmering catalyst for going public and setting the record straight. Yet coming clean would not be easy; it meant exposing not only the inner operations of the world I had worked in and lived in for years but also, in no uncertain terms, my own zealous and increasingly lucrative participation in it.

At the end of the day, there would be no passing off responsibility to others. And there would be the inevitable attacks on my motives and credibility that accompany almost every act of whistle-blowing. [from this article by David Brock]

Since the election's coming soon...

[noted by Al Speegle in The Door Magazine Chat Closet]

Man Claims No Real Interest In The Political Process

Des Moines, IA: Friends and relatives of Chester Glowbridge are becoming increasingly concerned at his apparent lack of concern in the upcoming election. Neighbors also started wondering when he failed to join them in decorating his yard with various posters and signs.

When asked about his stances on the current issues of the day he only commented "Well, I don't know that I really have any. I just read my Bible, and meet needs in the community as I see them. I don't know that I can quite make the connection between Christianity and Politics." {the full thing here}

Since Liveprayer is preparing for "Witnessing For Jesus Day" (a.k.a. Hallowe'en):

[from The Door Magazine, Issue #149]

Top Ten Christian Excuses For Celebrating Halloween

10. Revelation monsters make such great costumes!
9. Great time to research next Frank Peretti novel.
8. Only remotely appropriate time to distribute scary Jack Chick tracts.
7. Fun to open door to strangers who aren't Jehovah's Witnesses.
6. Proof that nothing is scarier than "rapture" movies.
5. Using Robert Tilton as a model ensures first place in scariest Jack-O-Lantern contest.
4. Perfect opportunity to try out Jan Crouch make-up tips.
3. Fun to hide in bushes and squirt non-believers with hose.
2. Re-creation of Lazarus' empty tomb scares the hell out of kids.
1. The devil made me do it.

(by Georgia, Michael and Bob Beaverson)

Friday, October 15, 2004

From the poem Contacts With Trotskyites by Kathy Shaidle:

wearing those infernal lefty lennon spectacles and we
were all laughing about this and I was pondering the
possible ironic connection between poor eyesight and
social awareness
when a spotty, plaid-shirted pamphleteer leapt in front of us
and yelled:

Bishop Tutu is a fool
Sanctions are useless
Passive resistance is counter-productive
Violence is the only alternative

Having recited his lines to perfection, he smiled and his
dared us to respond with equal eloquence

through glasses just like ours.

[noted by Holy Weblog]

Nothing brings out the inner Mazes and Monsters fanatic in the fundamentalist Christian like a war. Times of peace and prosperity are, for the deep believer, relative fallow periods, where all the drama of existence is confined to shouting matches at P.T.A. meetings and pseudonymous requests for sexual advice in whispered late-night phone calls to Dr. Laura.

Wartime is different. During a war, all of the things the Extreme Christian has spent his spare time reading about in those books with the cheesy illustrated covers are suddenly in play. During times of peace, hope for deliverance always remains far off, but in times of war, there is always at least a theoretical chance that the entire physical world will be reduced to rubble, clearing the way for the magic moment — when the sky opens up, and an angel floats down from heaven, saying, "You see, Jerry, you were right all along ...
---from Babylon A Go-Go By Matt Taibbi, AlterNet.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

[noted on to be a blessing]

Why is it that it took homosexual couples' desire to equality (a legitimate desire) to make the church see just how holy and sacred this institution is? Why didn't we recognize this decades ago when people started to marry outside of the church and Las Vegas started to hand out marriage certificates to anyone with the desire to be wed? Where was the church then?

Where were we when people started to stomp on the holy union of marriage by living together without a marriage certificate first? Why didn't we speak up about this issue then? Oh that's right, I think we did. What did we say then? We said that people shouldn't live together without being married and applied pressure to couples to get married. Why? Why did we tell couples that they are living in sin? Why do we continue to insinuate this? Why do we put so much emphasis on marriage for people who don't even believe there is a God?

I've known so many couples who live together for years, even have kids together, then one day they get engaged and everyone applaudes them. Why? What's the point? They haven't changed their beliefs where God is concerned (but if they had there would definitely be a reason to go through the ceremony) so why do we celebrate that they are finally making "an honest woman of her" and so on? I think it's more of an affront to pressure people into marriage (especially since marriage is such a sacred thing) when they never felt the need for it before. I am actually a little disappointed with couples who have no beliefs religious-wise, live together for years, then suddenly decide they need to get married. Why?

Why? Because of this need we the church (or maybe more pointedly the people of the church) have to make everything appear clean and neat.
-- from this post, emphasis mine

[quoted in this post via Jordon Cooper]

It's natural for us to look at successful people and assume that their success is due to some innate quality they have, rather than to think that it may be the result of circumstance or chance. This is sometimes a reasonable assumption to make. But in the case of corporate performance, it's dangerous.
---from The Wisdom of Crowds: the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations by James Surowiecki

I'm going around asking people if I can vote for them for President. You know, as a write-in. Will the new oversized palm pilot voting machines let me do that? I don't know. What I do know is that neither Bush nor Kerry can get anything close to an enthusiastic endorsement from me, and that's what I want. I want to be enthusiastic about a Presidental candidate for once in my life.

...So, realistically, we're looking at a choice between forgiveness and permission, and I don't want to bestow either. What I want to do is vote.
--from Voter's Block at mental emetic, emphasis mine

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Disposable Justice?

Some conservative evangelicals want to believe that homosexual marriage is destroying our culture and values, but I would submit that we heteros have done that a long time ago with our disposable consumeristic lifestyles. Think about it, (and this is not meant to offend those who have been divorced for good reason), where there is a throw away society it's going to affect our relationships. Canada, as much as I love her, she has afforded us the opportunity to have disposable incomes, disposable clothes, food and shelter all at convenience. But at the same time this convenience has made it possible for disposable marriages (If this one is not gratifying my needs, I will go buy another or just throw this one away).
--from this post at

When I went to bible college I encountered many warm friendly and peaceful people. Unfortunately a startlingly large amount of these people were, for lack of a better term homophobic. The thought of being around gay people repulsed a lot of people and they would fly in to rants about the desire to curb stomp any gay person they were alone with.. What I observed is nothing less than hatred from otherwise pretty good people.

Gay people are still hated in society. I understand their desire to be found equal under the law. I also understand the need for gay people to be protected from discrimination. The church is part of this, and doesn't really care because of a handful of passages in the bible. As I read scripture I see God having a great deal of concerned for the suffering, the poor and the oppressed. I believe that in our society God has great compassion for every gay person who has been abused or discriminated against.
--from this post at The Heresy

Sunday, October 10, 2004

[from looking back...looking forward]

Sometimes the only place to change a system is from outside.

Sometimes the only place to change a system in from inside.Some times the only way to change ones self is...

What happened to Bush’s avowed humility? His strong Christian faith apparently has a shadow side. Bush emphasizes his unique role in God’s plan and relies on gut religious intuitions. In referring to his conversion from drinking, he has said, “There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God. I am here because of the power of prayer.” Well, yes, but this does not mean we can slight self-examination and critical testing of his understanding of God’s will. The president does not seem to recognize that conscience is not divine dictation, or the direct voice of God, but rather God’s voice “echoing” in his depths (the Catechism). Individual conscience can be in error because it is a complex human capacity requiring reason and emotion. Moral decisions must be continually informed through dialogue and consultation with others.
---from Commonweal in this article

Saturday, October 09, 2004

For all the certainty and rhetoric around single-sex marriage, there are two things to keep in mind:

1. Opposing it will not save marriage.

2. Supporting it will not get equality.

Think about it. It's not simple.

The simpler law set will always win.

--from this post at Reflections of an Urban Pickle

Bottom Text by TheyBlinked, Top Text by me

It is harder to be faithful when it's not fruitful; it is easier to be fruitful when you're not faithful...

community is not a product that we can make. it is an emergent property of the shared spaces between people in functioning trust relationships.

community occupies a liminal, undecidable place between individuals and the structures that bring them together.

Friday, October 08, 2004

More People Like to Understand What I say

I'm linked now from Jayson Besserer. That adds to this list:

Been There...Still There
The Invisible Sun
Lake Neuron Bait Shop: of Door Magazine fame
...seeking serenity
Unedited Ravings
Worship Freehouse

[and grrrl meets world did put me on the blogroll/sidebar...but now it's on her bloglines/rss reader.]

A special thanks to all especially this Thanksgiving! Blog on!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

[found through To Be A Blessing]

Next time you think you're trapped somewhere, or wish you were somewhere else, just tell yourself that the only reason that you're trapped is because you want to stay. {more here}

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Here is a question for you, or me. How much of my belief's are motivated by my comfort and desires? My prejudices and all that? ...
For some reason admitting doubt, allowing searching, and all of the activities that go with an honest, open-ended, never ending spiral towards truth, are considered out of bounds and lack of faith.

I have to wonder what, of what i think, will be considered foolish, or evil, by the next generation.
--- from this post at The Road to Daejeon

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

After Progress

There is a real thrill in dreaming outrageous dreams. And a real grief in letting them go.

[noted at Leaving Munster in this post]

[from The Eagle & Child] we as individuals ever learn anything completely new? Do we ever jump to something that was not already somewhere ahead on our intellectual track? Is it possible for intellectual development to occur in unconnected hops and leaps rather than logical A-to-B-to-C forward movement?

---from this post

[noted at Randall Friesen]

How can you forgive somebody for violence? How can you love somebody deeply? How can you love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you? Well, by experiencing those things yourself first.

--from this post

[noted by Thirdgrace]

Philosophers, unite!

When you can't question, you can't answer.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

from Iraq and 21st Century Liberation Theology:

In the U.S. debate over Iraq, most European nations have been criticized as bystanders or even obstacles in the effort to liberate Iraq. They were cast as uncaring, callous, timid — or all of the above.

In hindsight, though, the Europeans feel vindicated — primarily because they apparently absorbed some valuable lessons about the tricky "liberation" issue over the past 50 years.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Fallible and Fallen

[noted at Jesus Politics in this post]

When you are on the edge of an abyss, the only progressive steps one can take are steps back, to reflect and to learn and to not repeat the mistakes of the past.
-- in a letter to the Editor by Gary Percesepe, Director of the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America

When people think liberal, they think Michael Moore. What about Garrison Keillor?

from the review by Publisher's Weekly:

Liberalism, Keillor declares, "is the politics of kindness," and he traces his own ideology to his kindly aunts and his access to good public education, including a land-grant university. Though he criticizes Democrats for losing touch with their principles, as when they support the drug war, he catalogues "What Do-Gooder Democrats Have Done for You," from civil rights to clean air, though he acknowledges, "The great hole in the compact is health care." "The good democrat," he declares, distrusts privilege and power, believes in equality, supports unions, and is individualist...

[quote found on The Heresy]

The error of textualism is not doctrinal. It is more subtle than that and much more difficult to discover, but its effects are just as deadly. Not its theological beliefs are at fault, but its assumptions.
It assumes, for instance, that if we have the word for a thing we have the thing itself. If it is in the Bible, is is in us. If we have the doctrine, we have the experience. If something was true of Paul it is of necessity true of us because we accept Paul’s epistles as divinely inspired. The Bible tells us how to be saved, but textualism goes on to make it tell us that we are saved, something which in the very nature of things it cannot do. Assurance of individual salvation is thus no more than a logical conclusion drawn from doctrinal premises, and the resultant experience wholly mental.

Then came the revolt. The human mind can endure textualism just so long before it seeks a way of escape. - A.Z. Tozer [noted in this post]