Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It is never short of criminal to sit in approval of policies that enable the "innocent" to perish and thus the determination by many that a pro-choice candidate has disqualified himself (or herself) from public office. But I believe that equal weight should be given to the consideration of how an elected official will engage our country with other countries and how he will seek to protect and ensure American prosperity. Wars will always and inevitably lead to the deaths of the "innocent." Are the lives of the American unborn intrinsically worth more than the lives of young Muslim children? Certainly not.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Prostitution is said to be the oldest profession. It exists in all countries, and if some teenage girls are imprisoned in brothels until they die of AIDS, that is seen as tragic but inevitable.
-Nicholas D. Kristoff, IHT
Psalm 82: 3-4
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The title of this post comes from the book just mentioned, The Myth of a Christian Nation, by Greg Boyd. In this chapter, titled "When Chief Sinners Become Moral Guardians," Boyd says many things that I might question, at least in part. But one thing that he says in particular I found to be particularly helpful. He tells a true story of an unmarried girl who gets pregnant at 18 and contemplates abortion as a result but is dissuaded by a typically pro-choice voting middle-aged divorcee. What was the basis of her argument?
She didn't go into a discussion about "reaping what you sow" or charges of infanticide (though both are applicable to the case in some sense). Rather, she offered to do whatever necessary to support this girl during this process, even to the extent of offering her a place to live after her Christian parents kicked her out of the house for getting pregnant, and doing whatever she could to help support financially her desire to go to college and become a veterinarian. Boyd's point is that this older woman was willing to do what was necessary to love the woman and the unborn; she even had to take out a second mortgage on her house in order to make it work, but she did it.
So, the question for those of us who call ourselves Christians must go beyond one of "which candidate is pro-life" to how can we individually and collectively "bleed in service" to anyone around us who is in a position of need? Further, should a pro-choice candidate come to public office, we need not fear some catastrophic rise in abortions if we will integrate ourselves more into the lives of those around us. We can reduce (even eliminate?) abortion without the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and as citizens of another country living in an alien world that is not submitted to the reign of Christ, we should expect to accomplish kingdom ends in no other way.
So, as Boyd asks in his book, I ask all of us: "how do you bleed?"
Reading it doesn't give the full effect of how tense it got at times between the two of them so if you can, listen to it.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
"Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man . . . only against Death shall he call for aid in vain”
“It is not good for the man to be alone.”
“When art tries to speak of the new world, the final world, in terms only of the present world, it collapses into sentimentality; when it speaks of the present world only in terms of its shame and horror, it collapses into brutalism . . . many artists recoil from the challenging vision of the future, and prefer to give the apparently more 'relevant' message of despair.” --N.T. Wright
I have declared that September 19th should be National Kyrsten Love day. So, tell her how great she is just like I've done in the past by buying her a plush monkey in Costa Rica.
Here's to Kyrsten and all of her greatness.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
"We have the irony of a free-market administration doing things that the most liberal Democratic administration would never have been doing in its wildest dreams."
So the question has to be raised, to what extent can the current problems on Wall Street be tied to the current administration and what implications does this situation have for the Republican economic philosophy?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Here's why: he says the very same thing I've been telling my students. That being, the most important element of a candidate for office is an experience wrought prudence that displays itself exactly as Brooks has written: "the ability to grasp the unique pattern of a specific situation. It is the ability to absorb the vast flow of information and still discern the essential current of events - the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and feel which arguments have the most weight."
I'm looking for it in our candidates and unfortunately have not found it in either. Unless I become convinced otherwise, I shall be employing my democratic right this November by not voting for either candidate. I'm looking for prudence.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It is a good chance that most women don't feel that they're really represented by Doniger who "holds two doctorates, from Harvard University and the University of Oxford, in Sanskrit and Indian Studies." (wikipedia article)
Is that really a more typical example of the American woman? Someone who has spent time studying Sanskrit and Indian studies? Not that there's anything wrong with studying those subjects, but to assume that Sarah Palin cannot be called a "real" woman is sheer stupidity and arrogance, particularly in light of what Doniger has done with her life. On what authority does Doniger get to claim the right to speak for all women? The fact that she hasn't had "lots and lots of babies?" Or the fact that she has gone to the most elite graduate schools in the country?
Brilliant. I think that I would like to take a moment to vomit into the trashcan under my desk.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Christianization of military force was strongly reinforced when
President George W. Bush depicted America as being on a holy 'crusade' against
'evildoers.' Elsewhere he said that America is the 'light of the world,' which
the 'darkness' (that is, our national enemies) could not extinguish. He was of
course quoting Scripture in making his point--Scripture that refers to Jesus
(John 1:1-5). The fact that evangelicals as a whole were not shocked by this
idolatrous assocation is, in my opinion, evidence of how thoroughly we have
accepted the Americanized, Constantinian paradigm. In this paradigm, what
applies to jesus ("the light of the world") can be applied to our country, and
what applies to Satan ("the darkness") can be applied to whomever resists our
country . . . With all due respect, this is blatant idolatry.
That a political leader would use religious rhetoric to rally people around
a military cause is not surprising. This is typical in all versions of the
kingdom of the world. What is surprising, and cause for great concern, is that
many evangelicals were not only not disturbed by this--they applauded it.
-Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
We can learn from many we disagree with on multiple issues. That is what I am doing here by reading his politically oriented writings.
Should the fact that a tax collector and a zealot lived together and ministered together under Jesus inform our interaction with those who belong to different political alignments but call Jesus Lord? Alternatively put, is it possible to hold different positions on some political arguments and still commune together? Or, can Christians disagree on politics because they agree upon who is King? Finally, is it right to excommunicate someone from the church (or exclude them from your "orthodox circle of friends") for voting for a certain candidate?
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Conservative religious people involved in kingdom-of-the-world thinking often believe that their enemies are the liberals, the gay activists, the ACLU, the pro-choice advocates, the evolutionists, and so on. On the opposite side, liberal religious people often think that their enemies are the fundamentalists, the gay bashers, the Christian Coalition, the antiabortionists, and so on. Demonizing one's enemies is part of the tit-for-tat game of Babylon, for only by doing so can we justify our animosity, if not violence, toward them. What we have here are two different religious versions of the kingdom of the world going at each other. If we are thinking along the lines of the kingdom of God, however, we would realize that none of the people mentioned in the above lists are people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight against. They are, rather, people whom kingdom-of-God citizens are called to fight for.
Our battle is "not against flesh and blood," whether they are right wing or left wing, gay or straight, pro-choice or pro-life, liberal or conservative, democratic or communist, American or Iraqi. Our battle is against the "cosmic powers" that hold these people, and all people, in bondage.
-Gregory A. Boyd, The Myth of a Christian Nation