Monday, September 29, 2008

Puppetry of the Mind

As the U.S. election nears it feels like the tax-exempt institutions (i.e. churches) start to tighten their grip on the oars of the congregation boat, steering via overt politicking of their own. Through careful use of language, the Church gingerly ties up how a person should think in a neat little package, avoiding certain watchwords so as not to violate their tax-exempt status. When I was a Catholic, during election season, I can recall leaving the church and being handed a little booklet called How To Vote Catholic. I remember being appalled. I still am.

This booklet can be found here:

If you look under the topic of Religious Liberty the following quote is made:

States that enforce secularism in social services and education are violating religious liberty.

Pardon me, but I believe the opposite to be true. A state that enforces secularism (lack of religious preference) in public services such as education are actually protecting and preserving EVERY person's right to freedom of religion, which should be practiced on the private front, not the public front. You cannot teach Creationism in a public school as it alienates all other religions except Christianism. Yes, I said Christianism. Next to religious freedom, the separation of Church and State is one of the greatest gifts this country was given. This bullet point ridiculously and immediately follows another quote under Religious Liberty in this little militant booklet:

"This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that . . . no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits" (Dignitatis Humanae, 2).

Wait a minute. Doesn't one statement directly contradict the other?


The Death Penalty: The Church teaches that the death penalty is acceptable in principle but should be avoided in practice.

How exactly do you teach that the death penalty is acceptable in principle? In the same vein of logic, doesn't the Church teach that if a man lusts for a woman in his heart he has already committed adultery?

Abortion: Abortion is the dominant political issue. Being pro-abortion disqualifies a candidate from a Catholic vote.

This is the wedge that the church uses to swing otherwise smart people to vote GOP. By stating that abortion is the dominant issue, the Church might as well admit that life loses value once outside the womb. This is obvious in their principle acceptance of The Death Penalty as well as a vague and hypocritical stance on War:

Just war is waged within defined moral boundaries in regard to its targets, goals, and outcomes.

The first two words are an oxymoron. There is no such thing. There is never an exhaust in peaceful approaches. Honesty, is that how you view God? That he would give up in His peaceful approaches to getting people to love Him, throw up his hands and declare war. I don't think so.

If I were able to talk to any Catholic, Christian, Non-Christian, etc. who is unsure of who to vote for this election year I would simply say to them: What does your heart tell you to do? What is right in your own independent educated adult mind? Are you too institutionalized to know - or do you feel guilt for wanting to vote one way, but because The Church tells you to differently you feel weird about it?

Listen, God is bigger than the Church (which is technically just a bunch of people). And God takes precedence as the one who created you. You are not a Frankenstein monster the Vatican sewed together. You don't have to answer to anyone but God. You are God's before you are the Church's. He instilled in you a mind to think and a right to decide for yourself. That is the beauty of being free. With His love comes freedom. When you are at the polls do you feel a disagreeable Church pointing a gun at your temple? I hope not. I hope you will free yourself from those guilt-laden bureaucratic shackles.

Good luck, Voter, think for yourself and may God be with you.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Like A Virgin

At the farmers market in Paris I went up to the cart of lovely looking pears and as I reached for one, my husband gasped "No, no - don't touch them, here you must only point at the one you want. You aren't supposed to pick them up. It's a faux pas to do that."

"Oh, ok." So I pointed to a glistening pear that looked nice and ripe. The man behind the cart put it in a bag for me and we were on our way. At Luxembourg Gardens we sat to down to eat our freshly bought fare.

I pulled out the lovely green pear, turned it over, and found on the side I couldn't see or touch a nice darkened soft rotten spot.


In the following article, chastity (somehow the word "purity" is used intermittently with "chastity" - honestly, I can't really make the connection - more on that later) with relation to girls is that pedestal title which is being overseen or managed by their fathers. There are "Purity Balls" which are ceremonies held as a type of father-daughter bonding time where the girls sign a covenant, promising to be chaste before marriage, and wherein the fathers also sign and promise to make sure their daughters remain chaste before marriage.

Hmmm. Control much?

I see this simply as a method to control women within militant religious confines. I think it is kind of sick, really. A pre-teen is obviously not at the age of consent to have sex, BUT also not yet equipped to make the PROMISE not to have sex or even KISS before marriage. I think it is an oppressionist regime that will focus on keeping girls virgins and not mention one iota of a boy's virginity. What of the mother's involvement?

In taking this farce a step further, these girls have been disillusioned into thinking that they should not even kiss a boy before marriage. I take the following quote from this article:

“Once I’ve found a man, I think I might want to get to know him a little better,” she said. “I’ll take him to my dad for inspection and he’ll spend a lot of time with my dad, then maybe I’ll do group-dating with friends and go out to dinner with our parents. If girls don’t have a relationship with their fathers, they’ll turn to other males, and that will often end in heartbreak and anguish.”

What? Take him to your dad for inspection?! My God, what about what YOU THINK? Don't you have minds of your own? The whole father-daughter relationships in these cases is wrought with weird controlling, even pseudo-sexual undertones, for me.

History and nature has taught that it is kind of a teenage daughter's job - to break further away from the parents, to rebel a little and to find her own way. If a girl is to know what she wants, she must test the waters. I think a girl can "shop around" to know what she wants and not go completely crazy. No sex and she's a naive girl with no experience, no information, nothing to compare to and possibly, fear. Too much sex and she's considered a whore. I think there is a relatively safe middle ground here that can achieved.

A woman's sexuality is an important part of a woman's life. To suppress the growth of that sexuality for the sole purpose of entering into an institutional arrangement for the sake of holding title of "the first and only" is not only a dangerous and naive stance to take for the woman because she doesn't know what she is doing and has nothing to compare to, but she is settling. She will settle into a realm of "what if's" and will be sorely disappointed in the end. A controlling man would not want his wife to know what it is like to kiss other men that came before him, because that would empower her with knowledge. With experience. With the ability to compare.

I think sex is but one of many steps on the path up the Relationship Mountain. Sex, in the eyes of these militant folk, IS the mountain. It is an unhealthy view to think that sex is the holy of holies because in their physical want to HAVE sex, these girls will marry the first guy who will wait a little bit for them. Not necessarily the RIGHT guy. They will suppress their biological urges for the sake of men - their fathers, their future husbands - but without the reciprocal rules for the men to follow. Gee, that's rather unfair.

While I don't get the staying-a-virgin-before-marriage thing, I REALLY don't get the not kissing a guy before marriage. A kiss is a beautiful thing that SHOULD be experienced by a teenage girl. It is part of the rite of passage in a girl's life: to remember your first kiss, to recall the humorous moments of a bad kiss, etc.

As a feminist, in this age of disease, of course it is important to be vigilant about who EITHER sex chooses to sleep with. I don't think it is a tool for usury or should be a flippant action devoid of true feelings, however, I think it is a natural act and that not all people are compatible and find out in the course of ...intercourse. Just as I think living together is necessary to find out if the two people in question CAN live with each other. As a precursor to marriage, these things need to be found out. Statistically, the majority of people who have not lived with each other before marriage are doomed to failure.

In this article, the author writes:

I couldn’t help suggesting to one trio of sisters, aged nine, 13 and 17, that they might need to kiss a lot of frogs before they found their handsome prince – but such remarks merely produced frowns. One of them spelt out the word “adultery” silently on her fingers and informed me that it was the core of the seventh commandment.

I think to kiss a few boys before finding one's Prince Charming can hardly be construed as "adultery" in any sense of the word, nor is there evidence that it will lead to adultery in the future. So what will happen if you only pick and point before buying - chances are really good that they will turn out to be rotten fruit.

If I were to have married the first guy I kissed, I guarantee I would be nothing short of miserable. If I were to have married the first guy I slept with, I guarantee I would be nothing short of miserable. Before our engagement, my husband and I agreed that the "asking for permission" is nothing short of calling me a possession owned by my father, so we skipped that little tradition which would have insulted my womanhood. Heck, I kept my last name in partial defiance of being considered a "patriarchal possession". Purity? I think I have a pure heart. I try to be pure of mind and thought. I am pure in my kindness and consideration to others. I am pure in my love for God and am pure in my belief that He loves me back. Virgin or not.

I think the biblical view of women remaining virgins is a cultural and era-driven idea. There are no dowries to be had for a virgin in 2008. The idea of purity should be properly used to describe one's spirituality and how they treat others and the world. A girl can be a virgin who has never kissed...and be the bitchiest, conniving devil the world has seen. So, where's the purity in that?

A virgin army proclaiming the thrill of the chaste: The American ‘purity movement’ is growing fast. Meets the girls who won’t even kiss before marriage and their highly protective fathers

Jane Treays - September 21, 2008 – Times Online - It would be a mistake to draw hasty conclusions from Lauren Wilson’s appearance. This is a woman who tosses her long, glossy hair as she speaks and bats her long eyelashes – even at me. A glamourpuss who admits, with a coy smile, that she is actually a bit of an icon to her peers. But this poised 22-year-old is no small-town seductress. In Colorado Springs, a city in a very religious corner of the American Midwest, she is admired principally for her virtue: not only was she a virgin when she married her boyfriend Brett, but she had never even kissed him – a deed accomplished for the first time in front of a cheering congregation. “There was something so special to know that we’d waited,” she told me. “I mean, a kiss awakens everything, and all of a sudden everything within you just wants to respond. We have no regrets. ” Young women like Lauren are no great rarity in the United States these days. In fact, one in six girls aged between 12 and 18 is estimated to have taken a “purity” pledge. Some wear a silver ring to signal their intention to remain chaste, but others take the concept much further, vowing to be pure in all aspects of their behaviour. Lauren’s sister Khrystian, a 21-year-old musician with long blonde hair, explained: “Purity for me is purity of the mind, purity of speech. It’s what I spend my time doing: emotional purity in the heart. It’s a complete wholeness. I have chosen a higher standard for my life.” The sheer numbers in the purity movement are making these aspirations more than a pipe dream: if the people you know share your deep-seated beliefs, then you’re less likely to succumb to temptations. They even have their own teen idols – such as the Jonas Brothers, the pop band composed of three virginal brothers, who were so rashly mocked by the British comedian Rus-sell Brand at the MTV awards. And there are plenty of ordinary teenage boys and young men who are also prepared to wait. In these circles, those who fall pregnant before marriage can be all but ostracised. One young woman I spoke to – a former beauty queen – got pregnant when she was 19. “The guilt was awful. Mum cried, I cried, my dad started to cry – that’s hard,” said Jessica, her eyes filling with tears eight years after the event. “Ever since then, my mom treats me as a lesser person. She still doesn’t think I’m capable of making my own decisions.” Jessica, who miscarried her baby, now lives “in sin” with a boyfriend; she is 27, but her parents refuse to see him and have told her “he can go to hell”. One can only imagine what the good people of Colorado Springs think of Bristol Palin, the pregnant 17-year-old daughter of John McCain’s running mate – but their sympathy will definitely be with the girl’s parents. Even the purity movement’s rituals – I witnessed one father giving solemn blessings to five daughters in turn – hark back to another age. I’d gone to Colorado Springs in May for Channel 4 to film a group of girls, one of them aged just five, as they prepared for the annual Father-Daughter Purity Ball at the Broad-moor hotel. This ball is considered the apogee of the purity movement. Dressed in elegant gowns, the girls arrived with their dates – their fathers. Then, to the accompaniment of Hollywood film scores, they gathered round a large wooden cross to pledge their troth to remain pure. Taking a leading role was Randy Wilson, the father of Lauren and Khrystian, who believes that the key to a girl’s purity – and future happiness – lies in the quality of her relationship with her dad. As a father of five girls ranging from five to 22, he reckons he knows a thing or two about raising women. “There is a core question that women have in their being, and that is: ‘Am I beauti-ful? Am I worthy of being pursued?’ ” he explained. “It must be enforced by the father, the man in their life. If they do not get that reinforced by the father, they will go outside the home to get the answer to that question.” It was Randy and his wife, Lisa, who came up with the idea of the ball – now in its ninth year and attended by about 130 girls. Mothers are also invited, but often don’t come, and there is usually a smattering of brothers. A three-course dinner, without alcohol, is followed by the signing of a covenant: each dad intones: “I choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity.” Typical of the fathers was Ken Lane, a purity devotee who invited me to his white-carpeted home and introduced me to his daughter Hannah, 11. “It sounds unrealistic in our day and age,” he acknowledged. “It’s not the exact path I went down personally – but if it can work, how cool would it be to say that I kissed but one man in my life? Why not shoot for the fairy tale?” Hannah shifted slightly under her father’s gaze when I asked her about dating. “Once I’ve found a man, I think I might want to get to know him a little better,” she said. “I’ll take him to my dad for inspec- tion and he’ll spend a lot of time with my dad, then maybe I’ll do group-dating with friends and go out to dinner with our parents. If girls don’t have a relationship with their fathers, they’ll turn to other males, and that will often end in heartbreak and anguish.” I couldn’t help suggesting to one trio of sisters, aged nine, 13 and 17, that they might need to kiss a lot of frogs before they found their handsome prince – but such remarks merely produced frowns. One of them spelt out the word “adultery” silently on her fingers and informed me that it was the core of the seventh commandment. I asked another girl what she would do if she didn’t like the way her husband kissed her at the altar. She looked thoughtful, then brightened. “I probably would – he’ll probably take care of that one. He’ll probably kiss really good. I hope.” During my 10 days in Colorado Springs, I couldn’t help but register the sweetness of the girls, the complete lack of teenage truculence. There’s no straining at the parental leash, no desire to escape and experiment; they are, in short, a delight. Jane Austen is their cultural heroine, with films such as Sense and Sensibility endorsed as an ideal family-viewing choice. Everywhere I turned, I found sentimentality and scant curiosity about the world. The innocence of the parents was more alarming. An army doctor, who had two daughters on his arm, told me that the HIV virus was so powerful, it could penetrate a con- dom. I said the British government had based its entire antiAids ad campaign on the assumption it couldn’t. A few days later, after doing some research on the internet, he rang to say he’d been wrong. To cynical Brits, the intensity of the relationship between the girls and their fathers can be unsettling. It is too trite, however, to label such relationships quasi-incestuous: these fathers are motivated wholly by a desire to remain a strong, controlling influence in their daughters’ lives. For now, the purity movement is too young for anyone to assess whether it leads to happier marriages or fewer divorces. Courtships tend to be quick. Young men are vet- ted by the fathers, and many suitors seek permission to marry within weeks. They may be madly in love – but they may also be suffering from extreme sexual frustration. Six weeks after the Father-Daugh- ter Purity Ball, Randy e-mailed me to say that Khrystian had just become engaged to a Captain Chad Lewis. She will have her first kiss in December on her wedding day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Optimist Creed

I would like to share the following with everyone who is feeling down, have lost faith - in people, the government, or who have encountered problems within the current economic catastrophes that have plagued the U.S. markets (any Lehman Bros. employees?).

My mom sent this to me when I was down and I put it on my office desk. Even though it is just a general list of platitudes, if anyone gets anything out of it, it will have been worth posting.

Chin up, kid.

The Optimist Creed

To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own..
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the great achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure?

How do you reconcile choosing to believe one metaphor over another? How can context, timeframe and culture within the bible ever be overlooked when deciding what the biblical message is?

I think the Catholic Church, with its spotty ‘pick & choose’ approach to accepting allegories and metaphors in the Bible needs a good overhaul when it comes to context, rituals, timeframes, meanings and how these messages apply to people TODAY.

I think it’s great that evolution is accepted in Catholicism (see article below) and that it has the ability to strengthen rather than negate one’s faith. However, how can (many Catholics) think that God actually flooded the entire earth in the story of Noah’s Ark?

Biblical context WOULD note that the whole earth appeared flooded if witnesses of the time stood and looked around and saw nothing but water. BUT, not having yet explored the entire earth nor having had a walkee talkee to get a status update of flood waters from correspondents stationed across the globe, I think it is safe to say that this story is one of MOST in the bible that is also a metaphor; the flood was most likely regional, not global.

At what point is it ok to “pick and choose” to accept certain biblical metaphors over others? Or to declare that (among issues such as gender equality, etc.) that being homosexual is an outright sin against God without taking into consideration the context, timeframe, culture and meaning?

I refer back to an earlier blog I posted. Daniel Karslake's documentary For The Bible Tells Me So is a film everyone needs to see. It addresses the misconception about homosexuals and the origins of their oppression.

Biblical literalism is a relatively new concept that has damaged and hurt so many, especially with the idea that homosexuality is an “abomination”.

Reverend Dr. Laurence C. Keene, of Disciples of Christ, puts it best in the aforementioned film:

"When the term abomination is used in the Hebrew Bible it’s always used to address a ritual wrong, it never is used to refer to something innately immoral. Eating pork was not innately immoral for a Jew, but it was an abomination because it was a violation of a ritual requirement." The film points out here, too, that it is also an abomination to eat shrimp, rabbit and plant two different seeds in the same hole.

Context and history is key: Leviticus condemns men lying with men but also the eating of shrimp and the simultaneous wearing of linen and wool. Modern evangelicals use the Genesis tale of Sodom and Gomorrah as a ban against same-sex carousing, ignoring 500 years of scholarship that interprets it as a cautionary tale of inhospitable hosts. Says Archbishop Desmond Tutu in the film, "The richness of the Bible is that we don't take it as literally so."

So, while articles appear about how “advanced” the Catholic Church is, it is one institution that is still way, WAY behind in terms of recognizing the obvious such as gender equality, women as priests vs. women not being priests back in the day, compassionate acceptance of homosexuals, etc.

The Church hoards the dangerous tendency to pick and choose a message from an ancient page of gray and display it in black and white.


Vatican: Guess what, Darwin? Evolution is OK
Catholic Church says theory of evolution is compatible with the Bible

By Philip Pullella - Reuters

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican said on Tuesday the theory of evolution was compatible with the Bible but planned no posthumous apology to Charles Darwin for the cold reception it gave him 150 years ago. Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, was speaking at the announcement of a Rome conference of scientists, theologians and philosophers to be held next March marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "The Origin of Species." Christian churches were long hostile to Darwin because his theory conflicted with the literal biblical account of creation. Earlier this week, a leading Anglican churchman, Rev. Malcolm Brown, said the Church of England owed Darwin an apology for the way his ideas were received by Anglicans in Britain. Pope Pius XII described evolution as a valid scientific approach to the development of humans in 1950 and Pope John Paul reiterated that in 1996. But Ravasi said the Vatican had no intention of apologizing for earlier negative views. "Maybe we should abandon the idea of issuing apologies as if history was a court eternally in session," he said, adding that Darwin's theories were "never condemned by the Catholic Church nor was his book ever banned." Creationism is the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible. The Catholic Church does not read the Genesis account of creation literally, saying it is an allegory for the way God created the world. Some other Christians, mostly conservative Protestants in the United States, read Genesis literally and object to evolution being taught in biology class in public high schools. Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for the U.S. vice presidency, said in 2006 that she supported teaching both creationism and evolution in schools but has subsequently said creationism does not have to be part of curriculum. The Catholic Church teaches "theistic evolution," a stand that accepts evolution as a scientific theory and sees no reason why God could not have used a natural evolutionary process in the forming of the human species. It objects to using evolution as the basis for an atheist philosophy that denies God's existence or any divine role in creation. It also objects to using Genesis as a scientific text. As Ravasi put it, creationism belongs to the "strictly theological sphere" and could not be used "ideologically in science." Professor Philip Sloan of Notre Dame University, which is jointly holding next year's conference with Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University, said the gathering would be an important contribution to explaining the Catholic stand on evolution. "In the United States, and now elsewhere, we have an ongoing public debate over evolution that has social, political and religious dimensions," he said. "Most of this debate has been taking place without a strong Catholic theological presence, and the discussion has suffered accordingly," he said. Pope Benedict discussed these issues with his former doctoral students at their annual meeting in 2006. In a speech in Paris last week, he spoke out against biblical literalism.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Talking A Good Game

I believe people in power who preach need to set a strong example. Actions speak louder than words. put it best with regards to the article entitled 'False Idols' that follows:

Pope Benedict, leader of the Catholic church, which has a net worth estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars, is upset that the world bows to the false idols of money and power.

Imagine how many starving or malnourished children would benefit from the proceeds of selling just one priceless painting that lines the gilded halls of the Vatican. Just one.


LOURDES, France (Reuters) September 13, 2008 - At mass on Saturday morning in Paris, the pope told more than a quarter of a million people that the modern world had turned money, possessions and power into idols as false as the gold and silver statues worshipped by the pagans of antiquity. "Has not our modern world created its own idols?" he said. "Has it not imitated, perhaps inadvertently, the pagans of antiquity, by diverting man from his true end, from the joy of living eternally with God," he said in fluent French, wearing gold, white and red vestments. Benedict, who arrived in France on Friday, celebrated the mass at Les Invalides, a complex of military buildings begun by King Louis XIV in the 17th century that houses the sarcophagus of Napoleon Bonaparte. In his homily, he pursued a theme dear to him: the need to inject lasting spiritual and religious values into a modern society often enamored of things material and fleeting. He quoted the writings of St Paul, saying "Money is the root of all evil", and added in his own words: "Have not money, the thirst for possessions, for power and even for knowledge diverted man from his true destiny?" Since he arrived on Friday, the pope has been encouraging Catholics to speak out confidently in a country where "laicite", the separation of church and state that often relegates faith to the private sphere, is part of the national psyche. The once powerful French church struggles with a shortage of priests and Sunday mass attendance is below 10 percent. But religion has re-emerged as a factor in public life, especially because of the growth of Islam, and French Catholics have increasingly spoken out on social issues.

Words & Image

Spirituality does not need a house to validate itself in. Look inside for the real truth -- it is subjective, so lower your voice and strengthen your argument.

-- Collins

Photo by Pam McNabb, Morris, IL

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Let's Put Our Thinking Caps On, Voters

"When Fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

– Sinclair Lewis

Word of the Day

A nihilist is a man who judges of the world as it is that it ought NOT to be, and of the world as it ought to be that it does not exist. According to this view, our existence (action, suffering, willing, feeling) has no meaning: the pathos of 'in vain' is the nihilists' pathos — at the same time, as pathos, an inconsistency on the part of the nihilists.

– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, section 585, translated by Walter Kaufmann

Word of the day: Anti-Nihilism.

Given the following definition, I think I would call myself the anti-nihilist.

Independent of any type of religious or spiritual implications, I think the interconnectivity and patterns that exist in the world, in the universe, should be indicative of a greater purpose altogether.

This is a weak example, but grass on the earth serves several purposes; one being that it feeds cows, which feed people, people use it for energy and then, in turn, deposit those materials back to the earth to grow more grass. There is not a group mentioned here that, at one point, does not contribute and benefit from the other items in this symbiosis.

It is an elementary school example, but most theories and dissertations on Purpose are probably not as complex as many overly moody and introspective academics and philosophers like to think and get depressed about.

Nature as a whole is a perfectly well-oiled machine without superfluous parts or unnecessary processes. That goes for humans and their existence, too. I think its impossible to follow the 'in vain' mantra because nothing that has happened to date appears to be in vain. Those who claim something is done /exists in vain MUST stick around to watch a situation or item come to fruition to serve its purpose...though it might be decades or lifetimes away.

Anyone can glance at a one-minute scenario and say it was 'in vain' and then walk away. But saying it does not make it true, especially, after an hour's time, perhaps, when something else is triggered by a so-called 'in vain' instance. Even the idea of nihilism has provided me with a purpose of writing about it, so in that way is it a self-destructing theory?

I think claiming anything to be 'in vain' is a fruitless and near-sighted supposition full of immaturity and lacking the innate hope the majority of humans are naturally equipped with.

I blame the gag gift image of Nihilist mints that got me going on this topic. A strange little box of delicious purpose for my writing topic today.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mission Accomplished

The people who suffer from Adam's sin are the same people who benefit from Christ's atonement: EVERYONE.

I find it pretty clear (biblically and in the way of common sense) that Christians are not an elite group who alone will be saved - they like to think they are - but if Jesus died on the cross JUST for Christians, well, it wasn't a 100% successful mission, was it? Statistically - today - it would be roughly 33%, which is failing.

So, I would think anyone who believes that God is Love MUST believe also in the grace of bringing ALL peoples home.



Thursday, September 4, 2008

You Insult My Intelligence, Madam

Ok. So I doctored the photo a little bit. It's not too far off, though.

First of all, I am insulted by McCain for choosing Sarah Palin for the VP slot as he feels it is in lieu of Hillary's absence that he will gain women voters because she is a woman. The GOP won't say it, but its politics, folks, they will only say what you want to hear, not their true agendas. This is why she was picked. It is the strategy of the party.

Also, to demonstrate that 47-year-old Barack Obama is too inexperienced to be president, McCain chooses 44-year old first-term governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. WTF?

Her stance is Pro-Life and Pro-War....not possible. These two labels are in direct conflict with one another. That's my first problem. You cannot claim to be Pro-Life if you are ok with the deaths of innocent civilians as "collateral damage" in an unjust war.

While I do agree that the pregnancy of Palin's 17-year old daughter is irrelevant to the main issues I have to ask....Abstinence Only Education? Are you serious? She wanted to cut funding for sex education in Alaskan schools. ANY funding cuts of education PERIOD are dangerous. So, instead of teaching the facts about sex, the consequences about sex, or the reasons why one feels the need to have sex, her idea is just to put a lock on the chastity belt. That worked out real well for her daughter. Any family that suppresses "the talk" in realistic terms is doing a disservice to their child. You could see that situation coming a mile away. Also, her daughter, by law, was statuatorily raped.

In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska Sarah Palin said of evolution and creation education, "Teach both. You know, don’t be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it’s so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."

No. The separation of Church and State is in place for a reason. You want to have Creationism taught alongside evolution, then you also have to teach the origins from ALL OTHER religious perspectives. Science class has ceased to be science class and is now "comparative religion" class. A public school system funded by taxpayers who are not necessarily Christian should not teach anything religious. That's why you have church and Sunday school classes.

As recently as last year Sarah Palin was also involved with the Alaskan Independence Party and support(s)(ed) their fringe-group long-shot stand to secede from the lower 48 states.

Logically, anyone who is for a division like this in any way, shape or form is unfit to rule over the whole U.S. I also read that she had also attended a Libertarian meeting. Hmmmm.

Offshore Drilling: She's ready to call out the brigade to get to work without considering major funding initiatives for alternative energy sources such as hydrogen, which is a readily renewable resource that won't damage the environments and oceans and can be put into place with proper funding and attention.

I'm not 100% sure what her views are on gay rights, but I'm betting my money that she is "anti".

And finally, she is against abortion even in the cases of RAPE and INCEST. Presuming she has never been raped and add in that she is a rabid evangelical, it is really easy for her to make this blanket statement from her ivory tower. I find it militant and anti-woman and anti-Christ, really, because it is a militant stand against her fellow woman's options following an act of violence upon which the woman is a VICTIM, not a willing participant. That's ridiculous!

I can count on one hand the number of women I know who have been raped. I would never wish a pregnancy on any one of them that resulted out of the violence they experienced and would put my arm around them and take care of them with compassion. No child deserves to be told they were a product of rape. NONE. No woman should have to live with the psychological, physical or spiritual burden and scarring of carrying full term a life that will remind her daily that she was raped. I love babies but babies need to be LOVED back. Fully. By two parents who love EACH OTHER. People like Sarah Palin think women who have abortions don't have a tough choice to make. Or shed tears over the choice. Or have remorse. She is a whitebred elitist who needs to take a walk through a woman's shelter in the Southside of Chicago when she is not selling airplanes on ebay and talk to those women. She is used to a small town and a big house. She needs to speak to the women who have been raped at Planned Parenthood, who have been victims of incest. She is so far removed from the realities of large urban environments that she is not able to make the best decisions on behalf of those demographics.

All women considering voting for the GOP should take a second hard look at her stances.