Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Isn't That Romantic?

They met online. Poured out their hearts to each other. They each thought they had found a soul mate with whom they could spend the rest of their lives.

The only problem: they were already married. To each other. {more...}
[via the view from her]

[HT: Ponderings On A Faith's Journey in this post]

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a flinty populist in a zip-up jacket whose scathing rhetoric and defiance of Washington are often caricatured in the Western media, has transcended national and religious divides to become a folk hero across the Middle East.

The diminutive, at times inscrutable, president is a wellspring of stinging sound-bites and swagger for Muslims who complain that their leaders are too beholden to or frightened of the Bush administration. Ahmadinejad, who arrived in New York Sunday ahead of a U.N. General Assembly meeting, is an easily marketable commodity:a streetwise politician with nuclear ambitions and an open microphone. {continue...}
[via The LA Times]

Who was God more disgusted with this past Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads, or well known minister TD Jakes?{continue...}
[via the Liveprayer Daily Devotional, 09/26/07]

Toleration's Apparent Fall

"Multiculturalism" has become a suspect term almost everywhere in the world nowadays, and particularly in Europe. People say things like: "I used to be for openness and toleration of difference, but now I see where it's leading." But where is it leading?

Almost every reason for toleration's apparent fall into disrepute concerns Islam. Even simple requests, like that of schoolgirls to wear headscarves in class, are suddenly freighted with immense political significance and treated as issues that must be resolved at the highest level of government. People - and their elected leaders as well - often have the feeling that such seemingly innocent proposals are in fact part of an ominous "hidden agenda". {continue...}
[via commentisfree, HT: Prolegomena]

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Conserve or Destroy?

Wow! A bomb that Al Gore can love. Isn’t modern technology wonderful? {the rest...}
[via Magic Statistics, HT: Kruse Kronicle]

Reminders of the Jews

Just in time for Yom Kippur...{continue...}
[via The Wittenburg Blog]

Friday, September 21, 2007

Testy or Tempting?

I am 100% in favor of tasering obnoxious people, whether they are conservative, liberal or radically moderate. In fact, I don't think we are tasering people enough and that this country would be better off if we had more tasering not less. {more...}

[via Jon Swift]

So I see this negativity out there, and I think about the fact that negativity alone does not generate forward momentum. Negativity followed by a conversation about how to make things better generates forward momentum.

[via Thomas - Technical Blogger]

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Prince of the Air

From this issue:

  • Interviews of Rob Bell and N.T. Wright

  • Detective Ace of the Air! Another Kenneth Copeland Mystery

  • Your Chosen People's Management Plan

  • Church Struggles in Wake of Potluck Scandal

  • The Shocking Truth About Catholics: They Can't Sing

  • NEW! The Submergent Church!

  • Midwestern Christian Girl Still Single at 22

  • Retread Records' Shout to the Lord—Extreme Edition

  • Thomas Nelson Publishing: A Division of Globex® Applied Weapons Systems, Inc.

  • LaHaye and Liberace!

Friday, September 14, 2007

[via Ben Witherington]

In Friendship, Night...

You may be the receiver of the dark night where, it wasn't your choice to end the friendship or end the pattern of friendship intimacy. It may have been your friend's choice, or maybe it was circumstances outside your friendship that demanded a significant change in friendship intimacy. But because you had an intimate friendship, you experienced or are experiencing a dark night. If you have deeply cared for your friend, trusted your friend, opened your heart and became vulnerable in the presence of your friend, the suffering is a risk you took.

Although painful and confusing, going through this is formational and character-building....

The dark night of friendship can happen when "one of the friends is incapable of sustaining the degree of intimacy wanted by the other in order to push the friendship into new depths" observes Mary Hunt. There are myriads of different types of dark nights in friendships.

There is another kind of dark night. The dark night of internal dynamics within your soul and within the friendship. This takes place in many ways in myriads of deepening and deep friendships. The friendship grows because of this dark night, is strengthened and renewed through this dark night. {the rest}
[via Faith Dance]

Community and Conformity
[via Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

Monday, September 10, 2007


Syria has so far accepted (at least) 1.5 million Iraqi refugees. Beginning today, that country is placing limits on the number and type of future refugees it will accept....

This isn't surprising, but it's not good news for the more than 2 million Iraqis who have fled their country or for the 2.2 million more who are "displaced internally" and may soon join those fleeing the country in search of safety. (Figures from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.)

Those figures are not disputed, they're simply ignored by the current American debate over whether or not the so-called "surge" is "working" (whatever that means). The fact that one out of every six Iraqis has fled their home seems like it ought to be relevant to any discussion of the "security situation" in that country, but it has apparently been decided that the opinions of these 4.2 million Iraqis -- voting with their feet and their whole lives -- should not be given quite as much weight in this discussion as the opinion of the very serious Michael O'Hanlon or the other York Hardings who, after all, have visited Iraq several times....

As I write this, Gen. David Petraeus is testifying before Congress that, "The military objectives of the surge are in large measure being met." None of the 2 million Iraqis who have already fled nor any of the 50,000 additional refugees leaving that country every month has been asked to offer their testimony about all of the progress the general is describing...{the rest}
[via slacktivist]

Not Politics, Not Alarm

I've noticed two patterns in global warming skepticism. Firstly, many reasons for disbelieving in anthroporphic global warming (AGW) seems to be political rather than scientific. Eg - it's all a liberal plot to spread socialism and destroy capitalism (or sometimes just plain dislike for Al Gore). As one person put it, "the cheerleaders for doing something about global warming seem to be largely the cheerleaders for many causes of which I disapprove".

But beneath the politics is a more elemental instinct - an aversion to alarmism. We've been burnt before. The media predicted an ice age in the 70's which never eventuated. Y2K was going to destroy society - it was barely a hiccup. And I won't deny there are alarmists in the global warming camp. Urgent cries that the ice sheets are on the verge of sliding into the sea. Hysteric predictions that Manhattan will soon be underwater. Or emotional pleas to save those cute little polar bears. Sadly, alarmists seem to be the loudest voices in the global warming debate. But that doesn't change the science underneath.

So I avoid the distractions of political agendas, ad hominem arguments and hyperbole about "the new religion". Instead, I concentrate on the science. {more...}
[via Skeptical Science, HT: The Heresy]

Statements By Leaders...

In times past, I used to read stories about how people in the Soviet Union, China and other authoritarian states had learned to ignore the propaganda that was being disseminated as information by their leaders.

Now, as Gen. Petraeus testifies before Congress, I am reading stories about the American public's cynicism in regard to statements being made by our leaders. Here's an example {continue...}
[via Mainstream Baptist]

Who we are 6 years after 9-11
[via Streak's Blog]

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Experiencing More...

There are times in our lives when we leave our normal routines and even our physical locations for other places and during those times away we really experience growth and personal development. Then we return to our normal circumstances, with our old friends and family.

We come back significantly different people than when we left because we really are bigger people. We’ve experienced more, we’ve been shaped and honed and learned a thing or two along the way. {continue...}
[via Randall Friesen]

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Myth of Consistent Skepticism
[via Skeptical Inquirer, May/June 2007]

Standing With Others

I try, when viewing a story about yet another child molestation case or rape of an adult woman (the latter being a crime I take very personally as a blow against all men as well as women), to get past that feeling of guilt/defensiveness a sensitive male can hardly escape in such matters. Women do view men with suspicion, and my feminist sensibilities tell me we often give them more than adequate reasons to do so. Rather than complain that we are being discriminated against (which as a white male I feel is singularly disengenuous), I suggest we men find ways of standing beside women and children against predators, most of whom are in fact male.

I would hope that in an instance where we experience discrimination due to being male (a mother's apparent nervousness at our presence, a woman's sudden outburst in the office or a social situation about how men are all dogs, that "all men want the same thing" and so on), we allow that feeling of unfairness and anger and sadness at such accusations against us to remind us of how much more often such things happen to minorities and women. Let our small bit of suffering teach us to empathize with the greater suffering of others.

The terrible truth is that regarding sexual violence, the male is implicated. We personally may not feel that we are, but our manhood is for far too many women a sign of their own, and their children's, lack of safety.
[via Blue Christian on a Red Background]

Persistence of Myths Could Alter Public Policy Approach
[via Kruse Kronicle]


Death is what happens when you're making other plans.

If I Want To Progress...

The last couple of years I’ve begun to realize that I have to make the choice to not pursue an interest. I have a wide variety of interests, but I can’t pursue them all—at least not if I want to progress with any of them. I have, for instance, stopped playing video games and I watch much less tv than I used to. I now devote more time reading and writing. {more...}
[via The Eagle and Child]

Monday, September 03, 2007

Work and Home

This Labour Day, remember the unemployed and the homemakers.

Laboring for Peace
[via Mainstream Baptist]

Understanding the Value of Work
[via Ponderings on a Faith Journey]

"Supporting the Troops"

I have long maintained that peace groups, including faith-based peace groups and pacifist churches, need to work with military veterans, especially those involved in military-related peace groups. Many of these military and veterans-related groups are NOT committed to nonviolence as a way of life (although some are–Veterans for Peace is composed of military veterans converted to nonviolence). Most follow some form of Just War Theory and/or celebrate military culture in a way that makes many traditional peace churches and pacifist Christians squirm. Tough. Get over it and get to know these folk as real human beings.

Look, the simple fact is that very few nations (Finland and Costa Rico are exceptions) are doing without standing militaries in the near future. The U.S. has a national culture that celebrates an independance achieved by a military revolution. Our national narrative (somewhat inaccurately) celebrates our military as the defenders of all our cherished freedoms. We honor military service as among the most patriotic and selfless ways of service. None of this is going to change overnight. So, if peace groups want to make a serious impact on foreign policy then, above all, they must not seem contemptuous of the military. Rightwing militarist policies win over more peaceful, or even more realistic, policies time and again by the simple tactic of making peace groups look and sound “anti-soldier.” They constantly paint opposition to militaristic foreign policy as failure to “support the troops.”
[via Levellers]