Being more than a bit trepidacious about my lack of in-depth political savvy, I’ll admit that up until now I’ve tended to favor the Republicans who are demanding accountability and cuts in government spending and resisting demands by the Democratic party to raise the debt ceiling. In my scanning of headlines, this has invariably been portrayed primarily in partisan terms. Those awful Democrats just want to tax and spend. Those mean Republicans are being unreasonable and holding our nation hostage. It gets old, fast, because it isn’t very informative.
Archive for July, 2011
The anti-Christian blogosphere is fairly rife with the shrill shrieks of those who believe their anti-Christian assertions have been justified by the Norway killer Anders Breivik. He said the word God! He mentioned praying! He said “Christian”! And suddenly we are told that this is the logical conclusion of religion, of Islam and Christianity. However intelligent folks are reading in his manifesto ample evidence that not only refutes the assertions of those who would point to this as yet another reason to further diminish the power or influence of Christianity. In fact, his manifesto points out the rather basic fact that he is not a Christian, but rather sees Christianity as a cultural-political glue. It can provide the cohesiveness the West needs to resist the tide of Islam and other influences, and it can provide this cohesiveness apart from any actual claim to theological truth. Christianity is not a faith that Anders places himself into (or thinks anyone else truly should, for that matter), but rather an expeditious fortification against far less appealing world views and political philosophies.
I’m not sure off the top of my head how many presidents have publicly mused about the temptation to sidestep the laws that placed them into office in order to do things their own way rather than work within the system of checks and balances. And I’m not sure how many have justified their public musing on the idea of “bypassing” Congress to elicit applause and encouragement from the very voters they should be educating on the reasons for checks and balances.
So our oldest son was taking surf lessons this week through the city summer rec program. From 9am until noon each day this week, he squirmed into a wet suit, lugged a full-size surfboard across the beach, engaged in warm up exercises, and was fairly unceremoniously sent out into the ocean to stand up on a plank of wood careening through the waves. He was aided in this by 2-3 affable, young, beach-hippie-surfer dudes and dudettes. They were patient and encouraging. The eight or so kids that came in and out of the class over the past five days experienced varying degrees of success.
This innocuous article caught my eye this morning. Famed Nazi Rudolf Hess has been disinterred from his burial spot. His remains have been cremated and either have been or will be scattered at sea (though Wikipedia indicates they are to be scattered at an unidentified lake). This was done in order to minimize or eliminate the practice of Neo-Nazi groups and adherents showing up to pay their respects on the anniversary of his death.
Granted, the Huffington Post is hardly to be confused as a bastion of unbiased reporting. Still, I find it interesting to read their takes on things from time to time. If nothing else, it helps keep the heart rate elevated.
The lectionary readings for the past few weeks have been leading us through the book of Romans. I was listening to this song the other day by Bruce Springsteen and it clicked for me. This is what Romans 7 looks like, in case we want to romanticize it and isolate it from reality. This is what it looks like (or sounds like) to suffer with who we are and who we know we ought to be, to suffer and struggle and to never break free of the chains that hold us in place.
One of the issues with redefining our understandings and practices of marriage is that once you undo the fundamental, biological, historical, social, cultural, and theological underpinnings of marriage, you leave it fairly open to arbitrary redefinition. While the homosexual community may be the ones arguing most publicly and vociferously for the redefinition of marriage according to terms more friendly to their goals, they aren’t the only ones making arguments and seeking to redefine it.
I had an opportunity to attend a special event this evening, despite the fact that I wasn’t really in the mood for it. No, I wasn’t one of the few special people invited to mingle with William & Kate at the Santa Barbara Polo Club just a few miles from where we live. Rather, I was invited to attend the graduation ceremony for five women and nine men from the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, where I’ve begun volunteering in terms of mentoring and leading worship on occasion.