Tuesday, September 30, 2008

O.K., So I Am A Slow Learner About A.C.O.R.N.

Our "favorite" Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has long term ties to A.C.O.R.N.

Obama became affiliated with this community organization, which helps distribute federal funds and ransom monies from big corporations, to poorer communities. They bring relief to the poor in housing, educational material, minimum wage reform and welfare reform. But, they also priviledge themselves.

Obama pressured banks to loan at subprime rates and this was how we begun to slide into this mess of a bail-out. It was reported that until monies that were allocated to A.C.O.R.N. were taken out of the bill, Republicans resisted voting for the bail-out. More, I'm sure is to come.

Because there is no governmental oversight in the distribution of these federal monies, almost 1 million was pocketed by the brother of the founder in 1999 and 2000, but everyone looked the other way, until a whistleblower in 2008!

They have also been involved with voter fraud. In Washington, 1800 voters were registered and only 6 were valid registrations. A couple of the voter registrators said that they sat in the library looking over records and recording the names making up the social security numbers. One said he sat at home and smoked "pot", while he thought up names!!!

This organization has been defended as a defender of just communities!

Whoever might read this blog, please goggle A.C.O.R.N. and find out what type of person is running for the White House!

Russia and Venezula and Nuclear Arms

Make no mistake, we live in a dangerous world. It is more dangerous now because not only do we openly see alliances, such as Russia's with Venezula, which will possibly bring about more nuclear power, but we also fight a hidden foe with the terrorists.

Let's hope that NATO can come to some agreement over what their interests truly represent and continue to protect freedom around the world. We have much to loose, as a country, if we don't address this issue and listen to our allies.

What's So Wrong About the Bail-out and What is Right?

Americans are forunate to live in a country that believes in the individual's right to pursue his own ends. But, our Founding Fathers understood that without accountability, there inevidently would be corruption. We see this in many countries today.

Tribal scoieties live by the power of might towards one another. Their customs create a hierarchal form of governing that is affirmed by their magical thinking about the spiritual realm. God rules over these societies and they fear retribution if there is not proper sacrifice.

Monarchal governments are representative that "all men are not created equal". Understanding the royal blood-line helps these countries to maintain a reverence for higher powers.

Our representative government is one that is free and open for anyone to run for and win office, at least in theory. We believe that the people have the right, in fact, the duty, to be a part of their governing. Self-responsibility and duty to one's country are the mainstay of our governance. But, we have little knowledge or interest in higher powers or foreign affairs, at least for the most part.

Even while our country's government is a free and open one, this recent economic crisis is one that is not easily controlled by the common person. Although we can petition our Congreesmen, under fear of retribution, there is little practical help we can bring our government in these times. We trust our president to listen to wise counsel and our Represetatives to undertake our interests. But, perhaps our own interests has been the seed that has produced our ecocnomic crisis.

We all want representation, this is why we vote and stay informed abut politics, especially in an election year. We are concerned citizens for our state and for our nation. While we are all Ameicans, we identify ourselves by the local, the State, in which we reside. The State's interest is a priority to the Congressman as he must herald in how he advantages his State over others. So, while our nation's interests are debated and voted upon in legislation, "pork barrel spending is shuffled unnoticed under the door". Americans like for their States to get more from the government, so that their states, communities can have an advantage over others. But, at what costs to others and the nation at large?

I believe that federalism is good on one level, but a detriment to the country on another level. The idea behind federalism is that the local governance can best understand the needs of their local communities. The local, though, may not know what may be best for the nation. Take for instance, the globalized market, and foreign affairs. Without knowledge of other cultures or what is going on behind the scence on the national level, locals take the monies from the State to advance their cause of economic development. The local mayor and the Congressman's jobs are dependent on impacting their local economies, bringing in jobs and increasing grant monies for projects that make their local area a 'better place to live". All of this spending is over and above the necessities. Some of the criticism over military spending is for this very reason; the locals want more of it to spend on their local communities. This increases the national debt and leaves us dependent on government to "do what is right".

What is right for the local politician, is not necessarily what is right for the nation. This is our problem today, as we have become a nation that is focused on how we fare at a local level and there is nothing that brings us together as a unified whole. Perhaps, this economic crisis will be useful to open our eyes and ears and mouths to dialogue about what is right for the country.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heart, Soul and Head

What is faith about anyway?
As children, we are made to be a part of a nuturing environment, When this does not happen, the child is left without resolution in his soul. This can distort the child's perception of himself and the world.

I had understood my faith to have "healed" these childish needs. I had found God's love "to look over my fault and see my need" (as Andre Crouch's song proclaimed). But, this was not healthy faith. Why do I say this? Because anything that does not delve into the soul to bring resolution, still is breeding ground for hurt and pain. The childish need, although met in a mythical world, is still left faltering if the nurturing environment of the Church fails.

In coming to Adulthood, we learn that no one is responsible but ourselves for what we are and what we become, because we do not allow another to define our life. And some would go so far as say that even God does not define our life, as His will is more general in how he innately gifted us. The need for safety is gone, as we have become centered on the values that bring us meaning. These values do not have to be within faith commitments, but do bring us identity.

So, faith can be defined within or without a community of faith, it is a matter of personal values and commitments to oneself as an identification factor. Who and what do I desire to bring meaning and purpose into life? And what is it that life will count for? These are the over-riding questions that face most yount adults in ther pursuit of life-calling. The university's calling of bringing resolution to the confusion during this stage of life is an important one. But, it is not an easy one.

A Pastor's Sermon on Killing

I thought my pastor's sermon on killing was a good one this past Sunday. He has been doing a series on the Ten Commandments. The official title was "Choosing Life". His main point was that the Church was to be a place of safety where there was no fear of loosing life. Christians should affirm life, as much as possible. I agree.

His premise was that the Commandments don't give us the rationale of ethical decision-making, but just give us the statement, "Thou shalt not kill". Whether one is pro-life, while agreeing about capital punishment seemed to him to be "getting around the law", because the law just doesn't say. And his point is well-taken that we all do not usually hold consistant views concerning the commandment.

While I have understood the Law in the traditional Christian sense of making all guilty, so that there is a need for mercy, it seems a little misguided to justify or theologize the killing of Jesus, in my thinking today. Of course, this is what evangelicals love to claim is the Gospel's message, that a Jew died on a Roman cross for the "sins of the world". Paul says, it is foolishness to the Greek and a stumblingblock to the Jew. I find that this message has brought numbers into the "fold" and has served the Church's purposes well. But, even though this understanding has served a "purpose", has it been a "real" purpose, one that is grounded in the "real world"?

The Gospel became the Christian Tradition, but was not useful to the religious in the historical time frame of Jesus life. The Gospel was the evangelist's and apostle's interpretation of Jesus life. Jesus, as well as Paul's lives, were given to the cause of humanity. The Gospel has come to mean a "cross" to be taken up by the believer, where the costs of following Christ is viewed as a sacrifice. Sacrifice was not what God required in the Old Testament, but a pure heart. This is why historical study is important. The Jewish understanding was not a "Gospel" of blood, cross, and forgiveness at the time of its founding, but a commitment of heart.

The Ten Commandments were the identifying focus of the Jew. Since my pastor held the simple standard of the commandment, it is left to the conscience of the individual to understand how it is applicable to their life. This is what it always should have been, instead, the Tradition of Judiasm developed how the commandments were to be obeyed, which created the divisions within Judiasm itself. It set up a rule of measurement, where one could justify or condemn another. Judgment and condemnation was never to be the intent of God. Dividion has happened in the Christian world over the interpretation of Scriptures.

It seems our world will never find a unifying factor without someone's conscience being denied. What does it mean for you to kill?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Common Woman's Thoughts of Revolution

Tonight's agreement on the "bail-out" of Wall Street, made me want to start a revolution. I watched Pelosi, who should have been aware of this for quite some time...and Chris Dodd (who made big bucks on the federal mortgage companies) talk about their "concern" for the American tax-payer...it really made me sick.

There is nothing free in this life, only free if someone else pays for it...so government programs are paid by you and me, the taxpayer. I find it appalling that there is no reserve, but an outright greed that subverts civility into pandering and platitudes of "doing the best for America". Why wasn't America on the minds of these people before this occurred? Or did greed so blind their eyes, ears and senses that they could not see it coming...?

You can say what you will, but John McCain did call for caution concerning these issues early on. Even though his wife is worth big bucks and the media has tried to pin extravagant living on him, he has been above board personally. Yes, he has money, but his money, as far as I've heard is hard won or inherited...Yes, he has given tax breaks to big businesses but he has been concerned to maintain busniess within the boundaries of our nation. He said Friday that Ireland's tax rate for business is 11% whereas ours was in the 30or some odd%...Obama, though has had his pockets filled with the mortgage companies and he has cronies that have benefited in the millions. It doesn't seem like his change will be for the average tax-payer.

I am concerned that unless there is some Big changes, there is little that we, little people can do. Unless there is a revolution of sorts, which I don't know whether the average person even cares or is concerned unless it touches their own pocketbooks. This is not the country it used to be. We have become consumers, instead of investors. Investments happen, not only with money, but with commtiment in all areas where the people are concerned about their country's future and they inform themselves, others, and become involved in making the country a better place.

Christian Values, Are They to Be Above All Humane?

When I began to think about what does it mean to distinguish Christian values from the mainstream public or American values, I had to admit that the real difference would play out with how one understands faith, politics, and God's intervention in life.

Most eveangelicals believe that God answers prayer, that He desires all to come to know Him, that Christian faith is an exclusive faith. Because of the faith's exclusivity, there should definately be a distinction between the "world and the Church".

But, what if the Christian understands their faith within the broader context of life itself? There is no attempt to maintain boundaries of separation to distintify, but the desire to address what it means to be humane. Instead of a diligence to be different, there is more focus on identification. Character should identify God's people more than an experience in the past or an interpretaion of Scripture.

Character is defined by attributes of personality. Are Christians most identified with integrity, honesty, kindness, justice, equalability, compassion, love, encouragement, hope, humility, goodness, mercy, etc. How are these character traits developed? They are developed within the confines of our everyday life where we seek wisdom for the day in our encounters with others. We share whatever wisdom we think we have, always knowing that we are limited and can learn.

Would the "world" be a better place if there were more people that adhered to the values of character rather than the values of success, in however that is defined?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Science, Human Nature, and God

I understand that the John Templeton Foundation will again be discussing Human Nature and its interface with science this November at Baylor University.

Because some brands of theological apology for the faith has always tried to interface with scientific understandings, this is an important meeting. That is not to say that theological reflection has not been contextualized faith , as well, but a scienctifically grounded faith is one that is based on fact, as presently known and is not some "pie in the sky" art form with no credibility within the Academy.

Why are theologians seeking a theological answer to today's postmodern challenge to the faith? Postmodernity undermines all universal rationale and individualizes faith to the extent that there is no coherency. Because the individual is today's solution to the universal, what is universal to human nature?

Because this approach to theology is based in naturalism, human nature must be understood within the framework of evolution. How is human nature different from an animal nature, or is it? What is it that makes human nature become different from an animal? What is a universal in human nature? And is/are the universal(s) to be affirmed, re-directed, re-formed and how? These are questions that the Church on the side of naturalism (Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Wesleyan) must struggle to answer, for their understanding as nature as graced, or perfected by grace, is at stake.

Luther's understanding of the tension between faith and reason has been suggested as an answer. A wall between faith and reason becomes the result, where the Academy is devoid of integration and the Church and State are separate spheres! This position does not give the Christian academian a reasoned faith within a particular discipline. I am passionate about this, as I find that it is mandantory that reason is addressed in postmodernity! Reason is the universal in our postmodern world.

I am not suggesting that postmodernity does not have something to say to us, and that it's assessments of reason's absoluteness is at issue. Each individual, yes, will understand their faith differently, but must find the community in which they fit. These communities should be based around the disiciplines. Each community of faith in the Academy has something to offer in the discourse of God. The differences that must be allowed within the discourse must be a full and open one, so that all views can be heard and taken into account, for our views are broadened and our understanding challenged when we allow all of these differences. This is the University!

So, is understanding human nature as a universal the best approach to coming to resolve postmodernity's critique? Or is understanding difference, the key to universals? Is it about science or Ethics? Or both?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

China and Wall Street

Tonight, as most of you have heard, Congress could not come to terms with an agreement on the bail-out of Wall Street.
It disturbs me that this crisis is being politicized. But, it is an election year...just a few days short of election day.
McCain intially bowed out of the debate Friday so that he could help with this crisis. Obama's camp claims that they were not fully informed of this matter and said they were going to be at the debate. Later, it was reported that McCain was having second thoughts and might show up after all.
I could see that the Democrats were playing alongside a president they have been highly criticizing, while the Republicans wouldn't touch this legislation with a ten foot pole. Isn't it hypocritcal of the Democrats to criticize the Republicans for being in the same party as Bush and go so far as to try to identify the party with Bush. And here they are playing along...what do they really think about Bush and his policies? Is it that the Democrats see a political advantage in painting a picture of cooperation with the president so that our economy will not "go under".
The Republicans may not know what to do, as if they go along and support the legislation, they will be painted as supporting big business. And if the plan fails for some reason then they will hold the bucket to mop it all up. The Republicans' resistance to come to an agreement could be painted as deadlock and they will be blamed. So, they will be damned if they do, and damned if they don't. I feel sorry that his has happened at a time when the election is so close.
The Republicans are being cautious, I believe. I agree that we should move very slowly before implementing a plan that is half shod and so expensive with no garuantees that the plan will be sufficient long term.

While our domestic world is struggling for a solution, the Chinese are now sending up space-craft with our technology. Many were on the news talking about the danger of their espionage to our country's security. Several have been convicted of selling or giving our secrets away. What will we be seeing in our near future? We are oblivious to our need to maintain secure borders, and ignore the the signs of domestic crisis. How much more do we need to experience before we understand the implications of our choices and our disregard and disrepect for our nation?

A BLOOD DRAW and an Eye Opener

This morning I went to get my blood drawn. It was supposed to be an uneventful event.

While existing to get my needed orange juice and coffee, I noticed a couple that we first met after moving to Indiana. We hadn't seen each other for awhile, as they don't live in the area. My husband had existed before me, but had to leave for class, so I picked up the conversation with them. It was good to see them and catch up on their children. They hadn't known that we'd been in D.C. this past year. So, the chat was a free exchange of information. When I was asked what I did this year, I told them I'd worked on my thesis, but was at a loss to know what direction to take it and wondered what would I do with it anyhow, as I was approaching "old age". They laughed and said something to the effect that they had listened to someone talking about becoming millionaires in their 50's! It really took me aback, as I had not thought of this couple ever as seeking after financial gain (and possibly I'm mis-reading them, but...).

What was it that bothered me so? I think that anytime we seek something that we don't have, as a goal, we must always take guard of our hearts. Our hearts are the seat of our values, and they can easily get skewed in a furious pursuit to "get ahead". Our American culture thrives on a fast paced, highly driven, goal-oriented, money-making mentality. This is what our economy is telling us presently in the pursuit of the material.

What has been the costs? The cost are lives. The lives of children who loose their Daddies to the corporation, and/or their Mommies to attain the American Dream. The financially challenged, who through haphazard mortgages, are now seeing their homes in foreclosure. Families whose pursuit of stressful jobs that pay big bucks dissolve the family through divorce. The influx of foreign imports that give Americans cheaper goods so that they can have more at the cost of American jobs and foreign lives. The list could go on and on , but you get my drift.

I am not against the market by any means and I am a female when it comes to enjoying an occassional shopping trip, but I do believe that a good thing can become bad, if we are not careful. This is my concern for American values.


Images are appearances. That we can all agree upon. The difference lies in what do the images represent? Do images represent the absolute REAL? If so, is there numerous ways of understanding the real, through the interpretaion? These interpretaions are evaluated based upon our experiences in education (life, formal, cultural, familial). These are social constructed interpretations. Therefore, our understanding would be limited by our education.

What if the images are just images that are representative of cultural values? They are not images that reflect something of the "real world", but are a means of communication and expression of those values? Then, our understanding would be culturally framed based upon that culture's value structure.

Which is it?
A REAL world that we battle on the basis of Truth that is still dependent on interpretation.
OR, is it a symbolic world of cultural values that have no basis in "Truth", but are just cultural values?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Relative and Absolute

Before I begin my remedial exploration of the above subject, please see kenschenck@blogspot and exploringourmatrix@blogspot and antiquitopia@blogspot.
I am amazed at how God has made us. We can develop beyond where we are today, thanks to the educators that have taken the time.

I recognize that the limited understanding I have as a human being within a certain context, is not to determine who I can become. Education is necessary for this.

Those who believe that the religious realm is the epitome of Truth are really at a disadvantage, for they are allowing an outside Source to determine their "fate". An outside Source, may be needful for the child, but the adult needs to develop beyond dependence on these limited frameworks. Responsibility must begin with the individual and must be developed within the social structures. Reason is man's friend, as it is only reason that develops the individual's gifts most clearly. While reason is necessary, reason is no absolute, as Job understood, "things that are too wonderful", things beyond man's ability to comprehend. This is wisdom and humility. And it is what the ancients called the "good life". A life of virtue.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sex, Relationships and Values

For those of you who are interested in the "blogosphere"'s talk about homosexulatiy, I wrote this entry in July. If anyone is interested, then go to July 24th, 2008.

Original Sin, Evolution, and Grandparenting

I have been keeping my two grandchildren while my daughter works. Hannah and Drayton are two and ten months.

My husband and I had three children that were born within four years. I have learned a lot since then. And this is what wisdom is about.

When my children were young, I was so concerned that they be brought up in the "admonition of the Lord". "Train up a child in the way he should go..." were mottos we lived by. We were in Church every Sunday for Sunday School, as well as the main service. We went to services again on Sunday evenings. We even sang together as a family on an occassion. But, if I was desirous of teaching my children what was important, which was about God, what have I learned about my failures?

First and foremost, I understood that our children were "fallen". They had "sin natures". So, every childish behavior was viewed as rebellion. Unfortunately, too late for them, I have learned that they were not rebellious, but just children. They needed guidance, but not oppression. I was an authoratarian, because I feared for their future, as well as failing as a parent. My desire for being a good parent became a goal that was oppressive even to me. So, I am glad for an opportunity to be "wisdom" to my daughter and to help her in bringing up the children, with the "wisdom" I have gained.

The main problem with the view I had was that there was a "form" of parenting that must be adhered to. I did not take into consideration the differences in my children or that my own issues would play into how I saw my parenting.

Evolution teaches that we are animals. Animals must be trained. But, the problem with this view is similar to my "sin nature" view. There is a "form" in which parenting is done, which is behavior modification. This is not a relational view, but again an authoritarian one.

Parents and grandparents must build a relationship with their children or grandchildren. This means listening first and foremost to what their needs are and attempting to serve them. It means that when it is possible without compromising the things that are most important, then do. Distract with other opportunities. Give praise, encourage, but be firm when necessary. This brings joy to the heart to see how responsive a little child can be and what they can learn so quickly if they believe you love them.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Responsibility, Addictions, and Religion

Man was created to be responsible, but the Law defined the boundaries of that responsibility. Thus, man is not to cultivate another's property, unless there is an agreement between the two parties. The Ten Commandments are the underlying foundation of our country's laws. Laws define boundaries.

Proper boundaries are necessary for proper relationship and proper maturity. Co-dependency breeds on an interdependence of two subjects. These subjects are addicted to unhealthy patterns of behavior. One person passively accepts the other's abuse of power. Or, the co-dependent relationship can also be understood in terms of organizational structures, or substance abuse.

Addictions are anything that determine choice without reasonable thought. There is no reason in addiction, because there is a compulsive nature to it. Obessiveness is also another sign of unhealthy personhood. These addictions take many forms from alcohol, drugs, sex, food, shopping, gambling, smoking, to relgious form.

The individual and personal idenity is important in upholding a healthy personality, but are hindered when addictions prohibit development. Religious addiction is the environment of cults where manipulation, control and all sorts of "evils" are done in God's name. The individual person is first and foremost of importance in understanding human value, not religion, God, or other substances.

The individual is where reason is engaged, choices are considered and a decision is made. The commitment of the individual should not be seen as "right or wrong", as far as life choices, for the individual should be the definor of his own life within the broader culture. We are a blessed people where choice is valued.

Cultural Wars, and the United Nations

The Iranian president is headed to the United Nations. He is being embraced by those who are seeking tolerance at the detriment of the West and its values. In fact, I just heard on a radio program where the U.N.'s goals are to redistribute weatlth without teaching accountability or self responsibility.

The West bases its understanding on Reason, while the East loves the intuitive. Some want to think that this is "spirit". I'm not so sure. We must commit to what we value most and think is most important. Without the freedoms that our civilization holds dear, there will be little else to value. And certainly we can't go so far as to ignore the Holocost as a historical fact!

What Kind of God?

Mankind tries to understand God by developing different ways of worship. Some confine their understanding to a text, others to a tradition's "wisdom", while others have given up hoping to understand the transcendent, for the present problems are too demanding for them to take the time.

What is the Christian response to such diversity?

Christians should embrace diversity, as Jesus life and message did not limit or confine his ministry to the understandings of either text or tradition. This means that the Christian message should be about humanity, not God. Man is made in God's image and Christians and Jews were commanded to make no other graven image...That means that the face of man is the face of God. That does not mean that God's face is individually defined, but must be seen within the faces of all of humanity and its multiverse ways of understanding God.

Christianiy needs to define itself on humanity, and humanities' giftings in every area of life. The problem of a universal Christian faith, is that there is opporsition from those who define their faith along the lines of traditional or conservative understandings and feel a universal call to the Church would diminish the Church's distinctiveness. This has always happened within Chruch History. What do you propose in seeking to unify diversity? Surely, you don't propose conformity, do you?

The Church and The State

I have been thinking about the interface of Church and State, lately.

Today First Thing on the Square had a post on "The Real Problem With Bishops". In this entry, it was argued that Biden, Pelosi, and other Catholics in public office needed to represent the Catholic Church's stance on social issues. One bishop even took the stance of denying communion to politicians.

This intrigues me. On one hand, the Church wants public officials to represent Them in public office, excluding everyone else's conscience, while on the other hand, this one bishop felt that the political position itself was 'unholy" enough to deny communion.

I have also read where there is academic understaking of how the Jews/Judiasm identified themselves in ancient history.

Why all of this quadmire? Because the Church can't define itself in today's climate of globalization, and individuality.

While I can understand and agree that the Church on one hand must define what it means to be a part of the Church, how does that affect a member's participation in the "world"?

I think Niebuhr's model of the cultural interface, and the Quadralateral hold some promise of understanding and starting the dialogue across the spectrum of beliefs in the Church.

Niebuhr understood the call to the Church to be "in the world but not of it" in four ways....
The Christ IN Culture is the Scriptural part of the Quadralateral. This represents the Christ figure's role in the world. This challenge is not without understanding the Church's place within the Jewish Tradition and understanding its connection to other religious traditions.

The Christ OF Culture is Tradition's role, as far as understanding the values of the Church.

The Christ ABOVE Culture is Experience's role, in affirming that God is still above the world.

The Christ AGAINST Culture is Reason's role of critique in and of the Church.

While understanding that the Church must have a voice, the Church must alos allow difference to other voices. This means that there would be a stark difference between the Church and Islam in regards to "Law" and opennes to other traditions, understandings, etc. The Church is not called to oppress in the name of religion, nor to become a Kingdom of this World and its Systems and understandings of itself. The Church is not God, but an instrument of God.

The Church, as a political institution, should not forget its first mission and call to alleviate the suffering in the world. This first call is multi-dimensional.
Any Christian is called to this position,.
The individual's alleviation of suffering is found within the Church's doors, whether in counselling, charitable service, pastoral ministry.

The Church should also not forget it's call to permeate the public discourse so that its voice is heard loudly, boldly and clearly. These are those whose call is to the political or public service areas of mission and service. These are offices of public service.

In a free society, such as America, the Church should not just beome political in its understandings of itself. A political institution does not bring a redemptive message to those who have no hope. This mission is a domestic and foreign mission of charity, and human rights. Therefore, the Church and State should remain in separate spheres of influence, otherwise, those who disagree in regards to conscience, could not disagree, for fear of intimidation from the Church. The Church should always have an open ear to others.

The Church's message must be open to change, so that its message is accommodating to reason's challenges. Reason is the Church's friend, for reason is universal in scope and should be a mission of development in education.

The sacred and secular realms should understand themselves as opened before each other and influencing the other in growth and pertinence and relavance to society. The American Experiment is, after all, a unique one.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Human Rights, Freedom of Speech and Religion

Our country's Founders were committed to freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Just last week, the Center for Inquiry petitioned the Unitied Nations Human Rights Council to uphold the 1948 Universal Human Rights. In their petition they wanted freedom of expression, the right to speak against religion.
Their conviction is understood with all of the human rights abuses. The Unitied Nations has allowed other "articles" to be sanctioned for Islamic states. The recent arrest and trial without representation and conviction of death in Afghanastan of a man convicted of blaphemy, as well as many more. This should make anyone who loves freedom and human rights squeezy. What do you think should be universalized? Religion? or human rights? Shouldn't religion protect human rights? What boundaries are necessary to represent proper understanding of community and the individual without compromising the integrity of either?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The New Theological Frame Must Be Inclusive of All Four Quadrants of the Quadralateral

Karl Barth was a way for theology to address modernity's criticism. While modernity needs the transcendent, the transcendent needs the grounding of modernity's critique. Today's post-modernity brings us to experiential faith, which is not grounded at all.

What do I mean by this? Post-modernity has struggled to find a reason for the hope of Christian faith. Stanley Grenz grounded his understanding in the community of God. The "redeemed" were to exemplify Christ's life. The basis of "fact" was developed upon the Trinity. But, in actuality it is another type of existentialism, as it applies to the organizational structure of the Church. And the Trinity itself is a philosophical understanding of God. It is not a fact, but a representation of fact.

Fact is based on science and the historical and social sciences should give new insight into what happened in the development of Christian faith, which was grounded within a Jewish context. Judiasm itself must be understood. And then, Judiasm must be understood within the historical development of World Religions, or Traditions, which are representative of cultures.

Civilizations are representative of cultures, which are understood by the laws, values and customs that define them. And people are constructed within these contexts. Understanding other cultures is necessary in international relations, diplomacy and the globalized market. Hopefully, international law will develop a format for businesses to be boundaried by proper behavior within the global market and economy.

Are Americans Naive and Too Trusting of Foreign Powers?

In today's paper, it was reported that our mayor was going to China to pursue business interests along with a State representative. Many states in the U.S. are trying to motivate businesses to "come on down" and establish themselves within their borders, so that, state's can build up resources. There is nothing like building a tax base for the State's welfare.

Not only is our mayor seeking China's business, but also he recently toured Russia.
I find this disturbing. Why? Because small town politics and State "goals" could be disastorous when it comes to foreign affairs.

Russia's recent aggression against Georgia, and funnelling weapons to Islamic terrorists through Syria and Iran, is dangerous territory when it comes to "padding our pockets back home". Now, Russia is reported to be in the Carribbean alongside Venezula...! And small town politics is seeking business prospects?

I am terribly troubled as most of us in our small towns are unaware of what is going on. And yet, we will be in the middle of it, I'm afaid, without any "wisdom" from us,"common folk" (the followers)...

Perhaps, American Christians will view this as a great proposal of prosperity and opportunity, while the "common folk" are just naysayers against the "common good". I hope I'm wrong.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama's Economic Big Shots

Tonight, I heard that Obama's economic advisors were big whigs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while Obama gets second to Chris Dodd and Clinton with some of the big companies that just went bankrupt. What is that all about? The taxpayer will not only have to pay for the bail-outs, but also be taxed, as Joe Biden says to "be patriotic". Of course, the promise is that the tax will only apply to the wealthy. Does that mean them? Joe Biden himself made in the double digit millions and blessed charity with 3 thousand....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Concern for America Continued

Last night I turned on Charlie Rose too late I'm afraid to catch the name of the CEO of AEI (I think that is the company). This company is struggling to keep afloat because of a lack of liquid assests...

This CEO (I didn't catch his name), was saying that the federal government is trying to bail the company out, by lending the monies needed. BUT, he was unable to sit in on the discussions. Why is he not allowed to sit in on this discussion? He had built this company up for the past 40 or so years...Is Nationalism at the door in America's future? Are we headed for nationalized companies like we see in communist countries? I hope not.

Even though we have chased the Almighty dollar, our nation's free markets have been the "success stories" of the American people. What is one to do, when there may be powers that be that would like to limit our free market, because of "a higher good"? What "higher good"? Individuals in our country have been innovators, discoverers, and business entrepreneurs. Now, we see that the government has underwritten our mortgage companie and is bailing out Fannie Mae and Fannie Mac...and this is afffecting the market..

What are we to think? I agree that we have sold our country's future in depending on "slave trade" and seeking to build our own personal economic interests on the backs of others, but, how can we continue to allow the freedom to pursue our "dreams" without socializing our futures.? Is universal health care the answer to the uninsured? Is the nationalization of our country's individual rights the answer to our future?"The Common Good" is the call of Obama, and the Democrats, I'm afraid. But, have the business interests become too powerful in the Republican party for the individual's voice to be heard?Is the individual able to do anything to change the country around? Or have we become too selfish to change?

Someone called in on a radio program yesterday and said that the "crows have come home to roost" because of Clinton's mortgaging our national debt. The interest has come due now in a Republican administration, so that the Democrats can position themsleves as the ":saviors" of our economic futures...What are we to think, when things go on in places of power that we have no access to and know nothing about? And while these things have been going on, America sleeps, the world watches and the leaders continue to be corrupted.

Concern for America

Today is Constitution Day. I love my country, but have not been taught enough about it. This brings me to my blog entry today.

The Constitution says that we are a government that is "By the People and For the People"! This is Good News, as all men (gender neutral) are created equal. But, the bad news is that because we live in the land of the free, we Americans have sought our own lives at the costs of the nations. We have not been engaged in the public's business. And because we have become callous to our freedoms and allow other people to take care of it for us, we are becoming an enslaved nation!

Our enslavement is to our lavious lifestyles, where we live beyond our means and the creditors are knocking on our doors. The market is what drives our economy, which is fed on our greed and lust for power, money and stuff!

It is not just in economic concerns where we are enslaved, but we are also enslaved by our lack of engagement. Our government's framers created a government where all could be engaged. But, because of our lack of interest, those who hold the reigns of power have become the ones who run our country. Instead of our country being by the people and for the people, we are being led by others and for others' self interest.

Our news media on the major networks do not even cover news in depth, because most of us are not interested. We get a few dribbles about the economy, so we can complain about our government, but we don't get involved. We hear about things that concern our own pockets and have little interests in anything other than where it concerns our own domesic policy. I'm not arguing for a "one world "government, but only that our eyes would be opened to a larger engagement in our world. When the rulers become unaccountable and have conflicted interest, these rulers will choose their own self interest above the interst of the people! This attitude is not one of public service, but of self-indulgence.

We Americans need to wake up and smell the roses before it is too late. We are a free nation because of public concern and engagement. We are relying too much on our rulers to make the decisions for us and then we complain again if they use the military for interests that we would not approve.

We (I) need to care and become informed and involved.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is Peace Possible?

My husband presented his experinece at the State Department this afternoon at one of the local "civic" clubs. He said it went well....

When I asked him if there were any questions, he mentioned one that started me thinking...

The question was; Do you think we should engage the moderate Muslims in hopes of "peace". My husband said that 90% of the Muslims are Sunnis....whereas the moderates are part of the 10%...that means that the majority 12 million are radical types... this is an enemy to freedom. Their "worldview" is an absolute one with no consideration of moderation in rationale, and is not confined to one country, it would be hard to modify.....it is an ideological battle, that must be fought on many fronts..political, spiritual, moral....that unfortunately, does not make for "peace"in the present.....

Moderation is the language of the ancients of virtue. It is also part of the Buddhist tradition. But, moderation is not in the vocabulary of radicals of any tradition. And radicals are against peace...and at any cost....

The Face of Evil

Evil has a face, just as God does. Just as God's face is seen in humanity, Evil also is seen in human form.

Elie Wiesel in "Night" writes that evil was found in the faces of the Germans who brought them unwillingly to the concentration camps and gas chambers. In the name of "purification", Jewish men, women and children were stripped of all that was human; dignity, respect, choice, family, and life, itself.

What was this evil? It was political, spiritual, and physical. The idea sparked in Hitler's mind, spread throughout the nation of a "purified people", the Arian race, and scapegoated the Jew.

John Wesley opposed what he called "enthusiasm". I believe that this is needed in Christian evangelical circles. Uninformed enthusiasts call for "total commitment" to herald in God's Kingdom. This is nothing new in Church History. People throughout the ages have thought that the "end times" were near and sold all they had to "give to the poor". What is so wrong about this style of "commitment"?

Psychologist would describe those who "set themselves apart", as a "form of "ethnocentric cleansing". Humans love to distinguish themselves from others, as this bring identification. It creates the "I". There is nothing wrong about being different from others, but when there is a dismissing of the "other", then all kinds of atrocities happen. These atrocities have borne the spectrum from political "ethnic cleansing" of the Serbians/Bosnians; the spiritual in the "heresy trials" throughout Church History; and the social, in immigration policy, "gang" formation, or class envy/snobbery.

Whenever humankind has formulated a hierarchal view of itself, mankind has lost in human resources, and lives. Our country's balance of power is a necesary 'balance" to man's inhumanity to man. Checks and balances are needful where there is no "other". Us/Them thinking is a distinguishing "difference", but also can be the beginning of prejuidice. We must not commit acts in the name of any "God", country, people or "cause" that is unreflctive and ignores the "other" in its inception.

This is the beginning of Evil. God warned Cain, that "sin was croutching at the door.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Night by Elie Wiesel

I have been to the Holocost musuem in D.C. several times. The first time was sobering, as I saw the shoes piled high of those who faced the crematorium. A quote "Never shall I forget the flames that consumed my faith forever"...:Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes. Never shall I forget those things even were I condemned to live as long as God Himself. Never"....

Tonight, I finished a required reading of "Night" for a freshman course. I cried as I read about the woman in the cart that had been separated from her husband and two oldest sons. She had lost her mind. I cried when I read about how desparately Elie tried to "protect and save" his father. What causes people to be so callous? Political ideology? Religion?

Can you imagine someone coming along and suggesting that "forgiveness" could resolve all those "problems". Whiff, they are gone. ...memories etched on one's consciousness, forever. It is no easy task to try to forget, and yet, not want to. After all, these memories were the last memories he had of his father and his separation from his mother and sister. Family. How can you forget?

I wonder how these 18 year olds will view this book. It is reality. And this real world is not pretty and protected like some of these freshmen. How do I challenge them in understanding the drastic change that happens when a person goes through such an experience? Will they understand? Do they have such traumatic experiences, too?

How do you view the Holocost? What can you learn from it?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My Pastor's Sermon on the Impossible God

My pastor's sermon today was on the second commandment; Thou shalt have no other gods before me. He explained that idolatry was anythint that came in between the person and God. God was alone to be worshipped, but so often we humans look at the "real world" and start to think of these things as God. And yet, I would suggest that Jesus said that humanity was the "face of God". Jesus, said that, "If you do it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me".

Jesus ministered to a specific group of people. He identified with the outcasts, and sinner. These were those who were outside the scope of the political (outcast) and religious (sinner) realms of power. Jesus, as a role model cannot be universal, either, otherwise, where would governmental leaders be? or educators? or any other "job" outside of charitable service?

It was a tipe rope of sorts for my pastor to stretch and walk between antinominism and nomism....the absolute and relative, context and standard. These questions are ones that plague the Church in addressing postmodernity. But, how does society, and society's social structures view this "gift of the law"?

Israel, according to the Scriptures, was not a nation at the time of the giving of the "law". Moses, according to the story, got the law from God. Therefore, Israel was known by her law and that made her "God's people". Today's modern nation-state is known by the government that rules that nation. Laws are the boundaries that define that government. Unfortunately, many nations do not have laws that protect the common person. Dictators, tribal chiefs and terrorists all seek power at the costs of others. Civilized nations have sought to come together and formulate interantional law. These laws are agreed upon to protect human rights.

But, as my pastor pointed out, absolutizing the law can bring atrocious acts of oppression and presumption, while not having law is not knowing how to distinguish between "godliness and worldliness". This is a holiness tradition within the Christian tradition, the Wesleyan Church. Their focus from Wesley's time was the question: Is there sin in your life? Wesley, the father of Methodism, started groups that were accountable to one another.

What is the purpose of accountability? Accountability helps us see clearly where we need to grow in our character. Others can help us know where our strengths and weaknesses are. The question is, what is uniquely "Christian" about this? Leadership courses that are taught all across the land are based on Character development. There has even been a move in education about character development in our public schools.

There is no unique Christian message, as the Christian message is the message of humanity. Humanity is made in God's image and though this is true, humanities' social structures are the instrucments that God uses to develop us. Today's social structures are broken in America. How do we resolve this problem? What do you think?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Is the Scriptures Usefulness?

The Scriptures are used by evangelicals as a way to understand God and his ways. The requirements of God are written in black and white and some, believe, are not debatable. But, are Scriptures a supernatural text that is absolute? Yes and No.

The Scripture cover over many years and are individual texts, written in different languages to many different contexts. There is no way of bringing a coherent whole to the text. Biblical scholars have sought to understand the different contexts of the individual writings and the individual authors of those writings. The social and political contexts are easier to ascertain than the author's intention, at times. What was the real 'mind-set" of Paul, for instance when he seems to speak out of both sides of his mouth about some issues? What was his "worldview? Is there a Christian "worldview"? I would say, no. There are Christian worldviewS, but not one worldview. Not only are there differences due to denominational emphasis, but there are also differences because of how one understands the text itself.

We can understand the text as inspired, just as any text that previenently shows forth God's glory through natural revelation. This means that the text is not inspired apart from the people who wrote the text. Inspiration is grounded in the natural. The text is a "form of art" and represents truths that are universal, if understood within context and with a keen eye toward principles of "wisdom". In the sense that people are inspired by God's gifting, the Scriptures are inspired. But, the Scriptures are not some superspiritualized text that is "above" humanity. The Scriptures are not God, they only reveal things about God and man.

Scriptures cannot be absolutized as law. The giving of the law was within a particular culture and paradigm. And the law was interpreted as what gave distinction to the people of God before they had a homeland (a nation-state). The Law defined an undefined people. It was their identity. Today's nation state maintains an ordered structure through law that brings a more defined identity to the individual through culture. Identity is not anti-thetical to being Christian, because being Christian, is about being human.

But, is this view of Scripture appropriate? Do we render the text as a rule-book, where everyone adheres to the "standards" that are written without recourse or re-dress from the distinctiveness of the contexts of the text, the people of the text and people of today?

These questions will be answered differently within Christian commitment. We must allow that diversity, otherwise, we limit God's revelation to our limited minds, understanding, context, knowledge of the world in the present, etc. Surely, then we would understand that the text has been understood differently. And surely we understand that the text is the text of only one tradition. It is not the whole of revelation. It is only a part.

Identity, and 'Tolerance

People all have identities that are defined by nation, faith, cultural behaviors, family, tribe, job, etc. But, when our identities so tightly bind our 'necks" that we cannot engage another, then we cease to be tolerant. Intolerance happens all the time, in families, between nations, between cultures, between political ideologies, etc.

Tolerance is an ability to hear another and their values, desires, and goals. Part of conflict resolution, diplomatic efforts and strategic planning, is engaging the different. Those who are outside the community of dialogue cannot be an enthusiastic "team member". Of course, terrorists cannot be engaged, because they cease to be open to dialogue.

Terrorists are those who feel their "goal" is a goal that cannot be compromised because it is God's will and God's will must be done and others be damned. This is intolerance of the tyrannical kind. History, as well as present day dictators, illustrate this mentality. A mentality of intolerance is a mentality of "right". And the "right" is based on misguided principles of what is ultimately best.

It was good to see that recently Condaleesa Rice engaged Kadafi.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

National Identity, the Palestinians, and Religion

I have recently been thinking about Islam, as it is 9/11. A professor from Bethlehem Bible College in "Palestine" came to our university twice and talked about the injustices of Israel against the Palestinians.

What was this injustice? Most of us have read and heard about the occupied territories and the constant warring between these two "brothers". This professor from Bethlehem Bible College said that the understanding of the territories is different, of course, than what we now know as Israel. Are these people without an identity because they have no "nation-state"? What does justice look like when it comes to these kinds of disputes? Is Muslim identity soley a religious one and that is the problem concerning terrorism? Are they seeking an identity only in Shairia Law, that they try to export into Western nations? And what about Western nations that have difficulties in knowing how to integrate a "people" whose identity is so tightly bound to their religion?

These questions, I'm sure, have been studied by the State Department and our diplomats. What do you think the solution is? A dissolution of national identity? Whose law will rule, then? Is a Democracy congruent with Islamic Law? Is a one world government possible? How are the nations to resolve these issues when the U.N. and international law has not? What do you think?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


My husband and I have just moved back from D.C. to Marion Indiana, so that my husband can continue to do what he enjoys, teaching college students.

Why would we leave lucrative job opportunities and a fabulous area that we both enjoy? An area that we have known and been a part of for over 20 years? We moved from the D.C. suburbs of Maryland in 1995 to a small Christian college. My husband had always wanted to teach in a Christian college. This was an opportunity to raise our children in a small community and for him to find his niche.

Teaching has many rewards. Each class is a finished "product", an accomplished goal of gifting students with knowledge in preparation for the life ahead of them. Each semester, which runs a mere 13 weeks is a finished subject. The next semester is a new adventure in new subjects with new students. After the two semesters, he has the freedom to choose another adventure. He has gone back to the D.C. area every year since our leaving in 1995. We, both, have enjoyed the academic year.

I like the fact that I am a part of his life more so than in his other jobs. I interact with the students and find their learning a fascinating experience, for I am always game for a learning advernture! We have attended most all of the John Wesley's Honors College events and have hosted many of them here in our home. The director of the JWHC is a well-respected academic, whose heart IS his head!!! And we have loved him for that!

My husband has loved developing a course that won an award by the Templeton Foundation in 2001 on the integration of science and religion.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Is Obama Loosing It?

I have to admit that I admired Obama's style, his rhetoric at first, but recently, he has been loosing more than poll numbers. He seems defensive these days.

I watched O'Reily's interview with Obama tonight, after first viewing him last Thursday, right before McCain and Palin spoke.

First, I was upset by his interview being aired the day of McCain's acceptance of his party's nomination! I couldn't believe that he would stoop to such lengths to undermine McCain. But, I hadn't heard at first that it was O'Reily's political ploy. Okay, maybe I am reading into his motivation, but, it seems that O'Reily did not give Obama another option. Thursday was the only day available. This says two things to me, First, that Obama is desparate to get coverage after Palin's "stardom", even if it could 'look bad" by being aired the same day as McCain's speech.

Secondly, it says that O'Reily and the Republicans have more consideration for protocol than Obama. Why would I say this? Because, O'Reily respected the RNC by not airing the whole interview and undercutting coverage of the RNC....And, the Republicans had laid low the first part of their convention week because of the hurricane. Protocol is an important attribute of a president.

The interview itself revealed that Obama couldn't name one conservative "friend" that he had worked with...And it showed a video of Obama himself saying in 2004, that he would not have enough experience to run for the White House.

More coverage showed Obama's attacks and continual obessession with Palin. He made a joke about pigs wearing lipstick, which I thought was really beyond the pale. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems recently that Obama has lost his charisma.

By the way, where is Joe Biden? I haven't seen or heard from him since the DNC!

Oops! Wittgenstein, not Kant

Correction! Wittgenstein was the anti-realist....Kant was the moral idealist...wouldn't Jesus life be understood by Kant as the "ideal", whereas, Wittgenstein would understand Jesus life as a "way of life"based on one's understanding of value, meaning, context, which is a cultural language....etc...

A New Theology from LeRon Shultz...What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?

I just read a review on Jesus Creed and some responses about LeRon Shultz's new book on theology. One point stood out to me...

No longer is theological frames of understanding to be based on "law" or reconcilliation, but on atonement...

While I like and agree with the universal aspects that his philosophizing emphasizes, I disagree with the ethical implications to his "view". Understanding atonement as community is nothing less than socialism or communism in political terms. What is problematic with this view is that community cannot ignore boundaries of the individual without de-valuing one of the most unique understandings of the Judeo/Christian faith, i.e. individuality. The person is uniquely created in God's image, as well as the community. It is the community that defines what the faith of the individual means. And the individual's commitment and identification is boundaried by that specified community....This is an emphasis on Faith...But, radicalized faith is not appropriate in today's climate of religious zeal.

While faith is necessary in faith communities and is important in understanding one's faith in a specific community and practicing faith within that community, faith does not develop Kant's understanding of the moral law. I think this is problematic, as Kant's understanding underlines what we know as character development within the individual, which is based on an anti-realist view (values clarification), which must be individually assessed. While the book of Hebrews may be viewed as an attempt to bring character development into a Christian frame of reference, it was also an attempt to conform individuals into a religious tradition...which again is not based on reason, but faith....

The Jewish Law was fulfilled by love as exemplified by Jesus life. While this is a good "model", we cannot agree with the implications of it, practically speaking....Those who took Jesus' life were not "loving" him, no matter what their reasons were...It was a power play against how he chose to live his life. His life threatened the religious...and fostered questions in the political realms. Therefore, though community is important, surely in Western society, we understand that community cannot exert power over the individual's freedom and right to worship God in the way he deems fit...Faith cannot be defined by someone else. It must be a personal commitment of heart.

Jewish or Judiasm? And What Does Jewishness Have to Do with Christian Faith?

Philosophy via religion OR fact via history?

When Christians talk about their faith, what does their faith mean? Most evangelicals have an understanding of "spiritual disciplines", denomination, or church doctrine that make their faith "real". But, with the discussion about whether the Jew was understood as a religious tradition OR had an ethnic history is an important issue to address. Why?

Paul understood that their was no difference in Jew or Greek, as he had been a Jew and had a Jewish religious heritage, as well as a Greek education. Possibly, the understanding of ethnicity or religious tradition looses pre-eminence when it comes to understanding what it really means to be human...man made in God's image...

The political and religious implications have tremendous implications for understanding Paul's "gospel". I think that both history and religious tradition is transformed by the "real understanding" of what it means to be human, which is humanity's human-ness....

Friday, September 5, 2008

Identity, Power, and Law (justice) in American Internationalism

All of us live in the "real" world. What do I mean by this? We exist within contexts of national and personal realities that define who we are. These realities are defined by the social structures of family, community of faith, and nation. These structures bring order to our lives. All humans need these frames of reference for identity and meaning to their lives.

Many in our world do not have these meaning-making structures, due to dysfunction in the family, community of faith on the personal level or war on the national level...

Our form of government, in its balance of power, as well as its representation, is most reflective of "natural revelation". The balance of power represents the need for parties to submit to one another at an international level, while the representative aspects of our government represents the proper balance of power between the "leader and follower" relationship. Domination of another (individual or country) or subversion of resources for profit are the proper limits to individuals and governments. An "ordered" and "proper" government should be limited if it is to respect proper boundaries around others... This breeds a proper attitude toward others (inidividual and national) that builds trust, which is of major importance in diplomatic efforts.

As Americans, we need to understand that individuality, "the self" is not understood within other contexts, as clearly, as it is within our borders. Western Europe still have the seeds of "tradition" that maintain certain cultural behaviors that have long been lost on America's soil. While this is so, we should affirm the uniqueness of American identity of the individual and their pursuit of "happiness", while disaffirming American consumerism. Individual gifting should not be used to subvert or dominate another's. And when these giftings collide or are at variance in "vision", there needs to be a formulation of addressing the "differences", without disaffirming the values and goals of each individual. This is based on "social contract". American values of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are unique identifying factors and should be promoted universally.

Therefore, the Govermental structure of America affirms the proper order and structure for human flourishing, while America's affirmation of the individual "self" is also a proper value to affirm in "social contract".

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Obama, Foreign Policy, and Trust

I do like to trust people, but find it hard in this day and age. Last night's speech by Guilliani gave me food for thought concerning Obama's ability to meet presidential standards....in foreign policy. Guilliani said when Obama was asked about Russian invasion of Georgia, he said he'd appeal to the U.N. Russia has veto power in the U.N. Did Obama not know this?

While in D.C. this past year, we went to hear John Bolton at the American Enterprise Institute. No matter what you might think about Bolton, he does have foreign policy experience. He stated that there was no balance of power for the U.N. nor any power over non-profits (I'm probably summerizing him)...This is concerning for me, too. Because of the globalized market, many may take advantage of the protections to non-profits. Business interests disguised as charities is probably not new....

Based on what I learned from Bolton, I have two concerns and they play across both canidates. For Obama, his lack of expertise in foreign policy in a globalized world disconcerts me, especially when he wants to appeal to an outside authrity that has no "accountability" and is itself, at times, in disarray. Even while this is so, the Republicans have protected business interests at the costs of the American people, at times. And during the RNC there were many NPOs that were represented on their convention's stage...

So, I tend to lean toward McCain because I believe that until there is a balance of power in the UN that American freedoms are too precious to "give up" to an outside authority, who has its own interests...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Next in Politics: A Back-Handed Marxism

Isn't it interesting that some in the media are trying to undermine the Republican nominee for VP.? Most of the media is known for its liberal bias, and, yet, they are condemning Palin for being a working mother....How will she have the time? Shouldn't she be "at home" with the kids? ETC.
Where are the "liberalized" women in the Democratic party that supports her "choice"? Or is the media holding her to a "standardized standard" of conservatism? Since she is a conservative, the reasoning goes, then certain behavior is expected. And I thought this was the land of the free and the home of the brave. The country is becoming more and more the land of the "politicized" and the home of the cowardly, as critical thinking is no more taught in our schools, nor allowed in our culture. Everything has to be "politically correct". This is pablum for the American people.

It is reported that the next attack on Palin will be to paint her a "trailor trash". Some are calling for a paternity test on her Down's Syndrome child. I thought that liberals were for class equality. I call foul. What about you?

Philosophy and Fact

Is the philosophy disconnected from fact? NO!!!! Why would I say this so emphatically?

Take, for instance, a fact: a teen-aged girl finds herself pregnant. What does philosophy have to do with this fact? Philosophy defines what one's "worldview" is and how one will determine how to respond to this fact.

For instance:
A Christian fundamentalist would disdain her for not having self control and not practicing abstinence. They might even shun her. She needs, after all, to repent.

An atheistic scientist would determine whether the baby would have a handicap, if not, decide where to place the baby for the best benefit to society. If the baby is determined to be handicapped, then abortion would be mandated or, perhaps, the baby would be useful for scientifc experimentation for future generations.

A behaviorial psychologist would determine what discipline would benefit the girl most in building habits that would help her build self-control.

A fundamentalist Islamic would stone her!

A humanist would love her!

What would you do?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Republican National Convention

I was proud of Fred Thompson's speech, but most proud of Joe Libermann's. He was the 2000 Democratic VP nominee and has become an Independent. He called for American unity and for his past political affiliates to band together to elect someone with proven character in Washington politics. He identified this person as McCain.

A lot of the RNC was about the military. Many Christians believe that the military cannot be identified with Christian faith, because of a conflict of interest. I do not believe that this is so, because, Christians all believe in human rights as a fundamental right. That fundamental right cannot be protected unless it is protected by advancing the cause of freedom from a tyrannical government. Good government is protected by the principle of the balance of power and the police force. The balance of power in our branches of government and the police force protect our country from within, while the military protects from without. Surely, we would not do away with the police force....

America has also stood for the individual's freedom to choose the way he practices his faith. Faith and how that plays out in one's convictions in life is what our government protects. Although Obama promises "justice" , and many believe this is the government's "duty", what then is the Church's duty, since governmental "justice" will be limiting the freedom in which Christian "justice" can be defined and expressed....

What Next in Politics?

I couldn't believe it. The Democrats had finally found some "dirt" on Palin and she is responsible (because we are our brother's keeper!). Her husband was arrested for a DUI TWENTY YEARS AGO!!! AND, her teen-aged daughter is pregnant!!!! NOT ONLY THAT, BUT, SHE, HERSELF was fined ONCE for fishing WITHOUT A LICENSE!!!! HOW COULD WE PUT SUCH A PERSON IN THE VICE PRESIDENT'S POSITION?????

While the Democrats attack Palin on such things, Obama, has affiliations with radicals that stand against American values, as a whole....But, Obama has dodged these "bullets" with the help of his rhetoric and his promises.

Character assassination is what politics is about these days, as politicians want to cloudy the waters by personal attacks, while making promises that they know will be fulfilled, ultimately, by the whole "color" of Congress. No Kings have we! Nor Saints!
We'll have to settle for a human, I guess!