Monday, February 28, 2005

Sure, I'm crazy - what's your point?

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/001961.html#001961
I love this discussion - the struggle is delicious - a sweet religious buzz - like a zen buddhist koan. And look you atheists get the same kind of buzz off of it that we do. For me, the non-negotiable part of Christianity is love God and love neighbor. It's a tense struggle, and we all have to face it one way or another. I don't think any of this struggle threatens you.

kinda reminds me of

Sunday, February 27, 2005

I'm grateful to post the psalms even if no one ever reads my blog because it's here and I read it and it's beautiful and that makes no sense.

Psalm 84:1-12
1How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
Selah
5Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
Selah
9Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
10For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the LORD withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12O LORD of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

So fucking beautiful that I wish someone read my blog just so they could read this

Morning: Psalm 27:1-14
1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4One thing I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
9Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10If my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

found this at onegoodmove

I pray that we do better than I think that we will

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/161/story_16128_1.html
I don't mean this to be ugly, and it's really not my place to judge, but the social conservatives sometimes seem to just not believe in the scripture that's inconvenient for them. They'll say the same thing about us progressives on homosexuality. I do not think they are right at all; our arguments are sound and our hearts are pure. But again I pray for them to do better than I think they will because poverty is important. Nothing is impossible for God.

Monday, February 21, 2005

got this from onegoodmove

http://www.zefrank.com/smallworld/
I have like zero friends or readers, but maybe someday. Such a marketing whiz, aren't I?

Is this demonic? And I don't mean in the good way.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1107989413916&call_
pageid=970599109774&col=Columnist1053686210527&DPL=JvsODSH7Aw0u%2bwoQO%2bYJDSbkFxAj%2bwoUO%2bYNDSbgFxMn%2bwkVO%2bUODSXhFxMv%2bwkYO%2bQLDS
Gary Frazier shouted at the top of his lungs: "Wake up! Wake up!" And roughly 800 heads nodded approval as he added that the left-wing, anti-Israel media — "for example, CNN" — will never tell the world the truth about Islam. According to these three and the millions of Americans they lead, Muslims intend ultimately "to impose their religion on us all."
It is frightening, I know, but fear will get us nowhere. Let's all pray for courage and grace to persevere in this evil - I mean Frazier, okay?. And oh by the way, we do need to wake up just for a whole set of different reasons. But just wake up, do not be afraid.
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/0215-25.htm

Dean's my guy

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050307&c=1&s=nichols
If he leads us on a suicide march so be it - I don't want our party to stand for nothing, and Republicans aren't being honest enough to compromise with right now.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I protest therefore I believe . . . therfore I protest some more

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Very enlightening discussion

http://majikthise.typepad.com/majikthise_/2005/02/out_heterosexua.html
I would only add this thought: that as enlightening as these articulate posts all are, there is an additional element to real progress toward the beautiful ideal put forth, it is time. In time we will move closer to this ideal, I'm confident. I know that that reality is not fair, but we are going in the right direction. I also know that conservatives hold us back from faster progress, but please have mercy on them. When I read posts as smart as yours, I worry that you will become frustrated because reality can be unkind to a priori rigor.

Where is our memory and our outrage when we need it?

http://www.therevealer.org/archives/today_001679.php
I can't believe how little discussion we've had about Negroponte and his history. I confess that sometimes I also enjoy the silly http://blessourleftwinghearts.blogspot.com/2005/02/guckert-versus-jordan-blog-smackdown.html but really we should not let that stuff distract us as much as it does.

Let's see - deceitful and unjust people. I wonder who that might be?

Psalm 43:1-5
1Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause
against an ungodly people;
from those who are deceitful and unjust
deliver me!
2For you are the God in whom I take refuge;
why have you cast me off?
Why must I walk about mournfully
because of the oppression of the enemy?
3O send out your light and your truth;
let them lead me;
let them bring me to your holy hill
and to your dwelling.
4Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy;
and I will praise you with the harp,
O God, my God.
5Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

Please forgive me, Progressive Protestant

http://www.polyglut.net/index.php/archives/2005/02/18/bearing-false-witness-against-queer-christians/
I did only give Wesley Blog an "almost thoughtful" for the post. Sometimes being open-minded (or is that just empty?), I can set my standards a little low. I am greatly relieved when a conservative can talk about human sexuality without resorting to complete assault. Something that troubles me, though, is this: it's easier to get comments on sexuality than on the immorality of Bush's budget. I do recognize that looking at the big picture and keeping focus on what we can actually accomplish in life sometimes conflict. But I don't think we can change conservative minds quickly, so I like to keep looking at the big picture. In the big picture I see, the best way to change conservative minds is patient, humble faithfulness. In the long run I hope that they will catch on, but I can't control that.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Almost thoughtful post on Wesley Blog

http://www.wesleyblog.com/wesleyblog/2005/02/a_closer_look_a.html
Of course I can't agree - where would the fun be in that? I think, however, we could agree that human sexuality is mysterious and humbling. And that God's grace is even more mysterious and humbling. Neither liberals or conservatives have anything to feel certain about, and we should stop demonizing each other. Finally I have great confidence that if we could be truly humble, sincere, and faithful, then we would see our way clear of conflict somehow.

More post-truth White House postmodernism (they are creative devils)

Theology of eco-justice

http://www.witherspoonsociety.org/2005/ncc_on_environment.htm#Sawtell
This discussion is important and serious and faithful. Compare it to what the Republicans offer us. http://blessourleftwinghearts.blogspot.com/2005/02/heres-how-post-truth-post-honesty.html What can one say when the differences are so obvious? How about this: John 3:19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."

Democratic brothers and sisters do not fear scripture - it's beauty is for you.

Enjoy it, drink it because you pay the price suffering under Republican power. When the light shines, your beauty is obvious and true so do not be afraid. As for the Republicans, pray for them while you turn the other cheek. And as for authority please do not worry because the truth shall set you free - I'm told and I trust.
Psalm 27:1-14
1The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4One thing I asked of the LORD,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD,
and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will set me high on a rock.
6Now my head is lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
7Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud,
be gracious to me and answer me!
8"Come," my heart says, "seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, do I seek.
9Do not hide your face from me.
Do not turn your servant away in anger,
you who have been my help.
Do not cast me off, do not forsake me,
O God of my salvation!
10If my father and mother forsake me,
the LORD will take me up.
11Teach me your way, O LORD,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
12Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they are breathing out violence.
13I believe that I shall see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
14Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

It might be about power somewhat, but it's probably more about arrogant Republicans who think they know more than they really do

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/161/story_16111_1.html
Let's look at what Marvin Olasky says:
Those initiatives over the past four years have faced three sets of opponents: anti-religious bigots, long-time nonprofit recipients of federal funds, and officials who trust social service professionals more than the mom-and-pop volunteers who typically make the largest difference in inner cities.
Oh no, those mean old anti-religious bigots are at it again. The courage of the religious right to stand up to these meanies is so inspiring. And all those non-profit villains with their nerve to make Republicans look bad. And those stingy officials with their silly accountability standards making things difficult for the teeming hoards of heroic moms and pops who would raise the poor up if only the bureaucrats would let them. My, oh my.
The grant-making process that has dominated social services since the War on Poverty enables Washington bureaucrats to feel both powerful and charitable. They can make or break the charities they fund with taxpayer money. It's wonderful to feel generous, especially with someone else's dollars.
Golly gee isn't it swell that the faith-based community isn't trying to feel generous (and proselytize too) with someone else's dollars?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Good old Presbyterian review of Jim Wallis book

http://www.witherspoonsociety.org/2005/jim_wallis.htm
Pretty close to what I expected and hoped for.

Found this via dKos's pastordan

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/107/13.0.html
Not all bad, I guess, but they had to stick a snide little end on it, didn't they?

I have a rude question - please forgive me

http://www.therevealer.org/archives/main_story_001658.php
There's plenty of accuracy in both reports -- evangelicalism is not the monolithic movement suggested by newspaper shorthand -- but after dutifully reporting what evangelicals say they are not, little light gets shed on what they are.
But what if there is no there there? I know it's rude and mean of me to ask, but I sincerely wonder.

PCUSA Israeli divestment discussion

http://www.christiancentury.org/article.php?articleid=139
Broyles' response is most impressive and persuasive to me. The divestment idea is a measured and appropriate response to an impossible reality. Lately it's really been dawning on me how the original creation of Israel was a creature of the European colonial worldview. The Palestinians whose land was taken away simply didn't register in that worldview. Certainly this line of thought is too much for a single blog post to flesh out, so I will have to think and discuss this issue in the future.

We are so wacked out of reality even Robert Samuelson notices

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6959879/site/newsweek/page/2/
Just another delusion in the faith-based alternate reality. Now I freely confess that I also trust in a faith-based alternate reality, but it's a beautiful transcendence of justice, mercy, peace and joy. Not delusions designed to assuage my guilt about worshipping power and status - in other words I ain't a Republican.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Does CT know that its blog is sorta, kinda moderately progressive?

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2005/107/21.0.html
Are they just pulling the wool over my eyes somehow? Oh well, it always feels better to think the best of someone whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Purple Finger - who knows what it will mean in the long run?

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050228&s=klein
Naomi Klein has an interesting reality check Nation column for us. As much as I'm disgusted by the Bushocon's arrogance in the whole matter, I recognize that we really have to hope for the best in Iraq. I also do think that the election results make things very tricky. How the heck do we avoid a timetable? Hey I know a lot of folks wish there was a timetable, so maybe one would not be such a bad thing. I just don't see what's going to hold Iraq together when we leave. I pray that all the triumphalist nonsense about a shining example of democracy in the mideast comes true, but I ain't countin' on it.

Local fella John Brummett with a mighty fine column

http://www.arkansasnews.com/archive/2005/02/15/JohnBrummett/317324.html
Sometimes I worry about how nuts things are right now in the world what with Repubs on their dishonest, crazy America Empire jihad power trip. They don't even act conservative (see budget deficit, cost of Medicare drug benefit, Iraq liberation delusions, etc.). So that leaves it up to the rest of us trying to stay sane and being both sides of the semirational discussion: progressive liberal and conservative with integrity. How can we do it, I wonder. Well, John Brummett columns on good movies help. Maybe progressives from the South just have natural advantages. We have pretty good intuition combined with real honesty. Throws everybody off, I guess. But it's the combination of intuition and integrity that allows us to catch a glimpse of what an honest discussion might look like. Too bad power has corrupted conservatives to the point that they mock everything they claim to believe in. There is so much beauty in our culture, traditions, and history, and that beauty deserves better defenders. I always want us to progress and improve on our faults like race and poverty but we're stuck negotiating reality with the dishonest and delusional (creation science, SpongeBob, Janet Jackson) while the robber barons hoard all the wealth they can get their grubby little fingers on - and that's a lot of wealth. It's never enough, though, when you are addicted to power and status.

Trying not to be hostile but . . .

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/160/story_16092_1.html
David Kuo shooting from the heart - isn't that precious? Kuo, dude, you beat us up on a daily basis, how are we not going to be hostile? Why in the world should we trust you when the whole faith-based compassionate delusion has turned out just the way we thought it would? It's little more than a fig leaf to assuage guilt on the part of those who really know better or at least ought to. I guess I am being hostile but come on! Republican rhetoric and policy on poverty has been cynical for a long time and continues to be so now. Look at where the budget cuts in the Bush budget are. The poor are hurt so the tax cuts for the rich can be made permanent. That's compassion? You were duped and used and that's far more your fault than ours. Are we perfect? No, look at all the unfair jabs folks have thrown at Jim Wallis. But we never approach the callous cynicism of BushCo. How you blinded yourself to the ugly reality and failed to smell out the stench of all the lies, I cannot fathom. Of course that's your call. Here's how I see the bottom line: Republican victories mean harder times for the poor, and your work has aided the cause of Republicans.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Here's how the post-truth, post-honesty right wing media game works

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/244qiuuc.asp
They use little wink-winks that folks in the movement are familiar with - like James Watt referencing the second coming of Jesus, but if outsiders try to call them on it, then they just claim they are being misunderstood. We need to shine light on every little wink-wink coded reference they make - like Bush bringing up Dredd Scott in the presidential debates. Of course we can always count on the sycophant weekly (or daily) standard to feign the misunderstood spiel, as usual. But it's nothing more than dishonest rationalization for the rich and powerful to be unaccountable to everyone else. The real tragedy is that so many folks in the movement end up being hurt by the rich and powerful. It's like they are an abused spouse who keeps going back for more.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Sister Dorothy story from Revealer

http://www.therevealer.org/archives/main_story_001653.php
The story is troubling just the same way that it is troubling how abortion and birth control issues take priority with some folks over the death penalty and living wages. Janet Hardwick's comment is typical - Dorothy Stang's call was apparently not legitimate for Ms. Hardwick. I do not understand, and I do not desire to judge. But we have to stand up for the poor, and we have to answer our call the best we can. It looks like to me Dorothy Stang courageously answered her call, and that in itself makes the social cons angry. If that's all it takes to upset them, then I'll have to hope that maybe someday I can too.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Just another reason why I'm a Wallis fan

http://www.calltorenewal.org/public_policy/index.cfm/action/policy/item/federal_budget2006.html
I think y'all fellow progressive liberal types who haven't trusted this guy need to check this statement out. I don't think anyone is speaking the truth any better right now.

Hooray for Dems - we got the guy we need!

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/12/politics/12dean.html
Dr. Dean will give us the energy and backbone we need. And this opinion is from a big Bill Clinton fan, mind you. Just as Clinton was far more honest in real and important ways than the superficial Washington sorority bimbo media ever gave him credit for, so is Dean more moderate than the same bimbos claiming he is a crazy lefty (not that there is that much wrong with being a crazy lefty). We need to be feisty for the sake of the country we love. Conservatives have decided to make themselves living proof of tangible and rancid evil because they are drunk on arrogance and power. The media bimbos worship that evil power, and middle class fear and insecurity has blinded the country so that the spell of raw and naked power looks like security and safety. It's not, and we have to be brave enough to stand up and say so. Not just to win or even conquer evil. We cannot conquer evil, but we can be honest and faithful.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Guckert versus Jordan blog smackdown

http://www.dailykos.com/section/Media
It's really too funny how much energy the blogosphere radiates due to the polarity, I guess. This latest comedy again confirms for me that I love being on the left side and I just don't get the wingers. These guys are so hung up on how the liberal media done them wrong it's warping their whole perspective on life. I mean the right wing media whore was literally . . . a whore. How perfect is that?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Gracious God, please be merciful to us lowly Democrats. Amen.

Luke 18:9-14
9He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' 13But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' 14I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Dylan's lectionary is wonderful this week!

http://www.sarahlaughed.net/2005/02/first-sunday-in-lent-year.html
I think I would also mention the tendency of mean-spirited, angry, fearful Christians proof-texting their positions to hurt anyone in disagreement. My observation of this reality makes me take the idea of real evil seriously, but I still trust that the faithful pilgrimage is not a crusade against evil. We have to take evil seriously - even Jesus himself is tempted in the wilderness - but it is for God to deal with - Jesus simply resists the temptation.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The absurd irony of politics and scripture

is that the folks whose politics best reflect scripture fear it, and the folks who most revere scripture mock it with their politics. Please forgive me if I'm too harsh on conservatives, but they seem to dish out their fair share and then some.
Psalm 82:1-8
1God has taken his place in the divine council;
in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:
2"How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?
Selah
3Give justice to the weak and the orphan;
maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.
4Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked."
5They have neither knowledge nor understanding,
they walk around in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6I say, "You are gods,
children of the Most High, all of you;
7nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince."
8Rise up, O God, judge the earth;
for all the nations belong to you!

I'm agreeable with left2right's David Velleman on letting Roe go (IV)

http://left2right.typepad.com/main/2005/02/letting_roe_go_.html
I don't worry so much about figuring this out as an individual on an a priori basis. We have to function as a community listening to each other to arrive at some decisions that we can live with. We have to build trust with each other to have a chance to function well enough to proceed. On David's post itself, I tend to worry very much about the callousness that he mentions. It affects how we ignore poverty, the working poor, the death penalty, the environment, Iraqi civilian deaths, and every other vulnerable group or individual in the world. We can improve the world greatly just by being less calloused, but we have to learn how to deal with the pain in some other way that will be less alienating.

Lack of Iraq posting

http://religiousliberal.blogspot.com/2005/02/i-notice-that-ecumenical-insanity-has.html
I, like religious liberal, haven't posted anything on the Iraqi elections. I am very pleased for the Iraqis and our military folks and their families. It is a real accomplishment and has taken serious human sacrifice. Of course, I'm disgusted by those that use this sacrifice to hold onto their political power. It is the human condition, I guess.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bunch of good links from faithforward blog

http://faithforward.blogspot.com/2005/02/religion-politics_04.html
But do we really need to get competitive about the size of our bibles? http://ethicsdaily.com/article_detail.cfm?AID=5323
On the Lynn versus Wallis smackdown I lean towards Wallis. He seems to get some strangely unfair reactions from the left on occasion. http://blessourleftwinghearts.blogspot.com/2005/01/katha-pollitt-versus-jim-wallis.html It seems like my brothers and sisters on the left just can't trust an evangelical. Wallis is far from perfect- it's almost part of being an evangelical to be a bit imprecise with language at times. But Wallis looks awfully dang forgivable from here. Any preacher from the Bible Belt standing up against BushCo deserves some applause and trust.

must . . . get . . . on . . . list

Friday, February 04, 2005

Dear Prudence advice column

http://slate.msn.com/id/2112396/
She gives solid advice as usual - I'd just add that the Feeling Hassled's experience is part of the faith journey and part of being a member of a (the?) community of faith. Obviously, if there is a potential for danger, one has take that seriously, but if not then I suggest a humble sense of humor. Sarah laughed so can we.

A little something that is good for us all to remember

Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

follow the links - cool story

Altercation is on fire - in a good way

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/6861528/#050131
Makes me feel warm and fuzzy about our side of the blogosphere. We have backbone, nerve, a good solid sense of reality, real decency (not the sexophobic wiggy kind), and a great sense of humor. Too bad we monopolize all those things.

good post on our petty little controversies and those (UCC & Olbermann) who deal with them gracefully and those (Dobson et al) who don't

http://religiousliberal.blogspot.com/2005/02/keith-olbermann-on-msnbcs-countdown.html
I also want to add as Presbyterian that I'm not ashamed of our honest struggle on the issue. We are not as cutting edge as the UCC but it's partly because we are sincerely grappling with scripture and its meaning. That's a tough issue because it goes to faithfully reading scripture - I think scripture clearly says include those who are looked down on in a culture. But I'm in a community, and not everyone agrees with me right now. So for me I have to weigh community against my confidence of my own scripture reading. It's too complicated to try to cover in a single blog posting, but for me the real bottom line is that we don't need to be beating each other up too much over this issue. But kudos to the UCC.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Tony Plank blog impressive

http://tonyplank.blogspot.com/2005/01/post-modern-presidency.html
I want to add a couple of observations supporting the postmodern thesis. First, the profound and widespread disdain on the right of science. For these folks the only potential good of science is to create new weapons technology to further their notion of American Imperial power. For them Intelligent Design is equal to evolutionary theory because it's the alternative brand - Pepsi versus Coke. Scientists aren't in the in club because they study reality they don't create reality. Second is something I'm trying to get a handle on but it's tough to really understand. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we continue to misunderestimate the movement in its intuitiveness and ruthlessness. We hold out thinking reality has to somehow matter - and I think it does - but raw and ruthless power does make a reality. My take is the usual for me - we must persevere and shine the light on their power-worshipping evil.

Maureen Dowd - pretty much at her best - which is nothing to write home about

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/opinion/30dowd.html?incamp=article_popular_1
The Bush administration never worries about anything. But these missionaries and zealous protectors of values should be worried about the American soul.
Maureen, one reason that the Bushies never have to worry about anything is that you NYT snobs always have to throw out a phony equivalency of the parties and also prove your superiority to Clinton because after all he's just a Bubba. But you know what? The torture at Gitmo and Clinton fooling around are not morally equivalent. All of you at the Times sit on your disgusting little elite perch and look down your noses at the whole world, but what you don't realize is how much you aid the Republicans. The true believers out there filter out anything you say bad about their guy, W, and latch on to your lame Clinton bashing. You are guilty of helping create the environment where we think using torture chicks is a good idea because you don't understand the true believers, and you don't even appreciate the privileged position you occupy. You just simply aren't nearly as clever as you think you are, there are plenty of us hicks out here who can see right through you, and some of them use that knowledge to further their immoral power trips. Thanks, Maureen. They couldn't do half this stuff without folks like you.

NY Times on moral value of fighting poverty

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/30/politics/30poverty.html?oref=login
Please note that I got this link from dKos's pastordan. I feel some hope but also a little trepidation. I think a real hurdle that no one's paying attention to is prosperity theology where we blame poverty on the poor. I worry greatly that when folks start talking about personal responsibility their train of thought inevitably runs to make things harder on the poor both working and unemployed to teach them all about personal responsibility. It's the old "poverty is the result of liberal welfare programs" spiel. Of course that's wrong and ugly - but it has allowed the guilty to avoid their Christian duty on many occasions. I hope Wallis and others can overcome it, my prayers and thoughts are with them, but I'm not holding my breath.

What can I add to how perfect this psalm is for the present? How about they are condemned by the scripture they claim to believe in?

Psalm 12:1-8
1Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
2They utter lies to each other;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4those who say, "With our tongues we will prevail;
our lips are our own—who is our master?"
5"Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now rise up," says the LORD;
"I will place them in the safety for which they long."
6The promises of the LORD are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7You, O LORD, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation for ever.
8On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among humankind.