June 2006 Archives

Open and Shut Mind

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I'm no abomination, says gay bishop - World - Times Online:

GENE ROBINSON, the first openly gay bishop in the history of the Anglican Communion, stood before 1,500 American Episcopalians and proclaimed: "I'm not an abomination in the eyes of God." The Episcopal Church should "stand up for right", he insisted. Moments later, Robert Duncan, the conservative Bishop of Pittsburgh, took the microphone to declare that the Church had reached an "impossible moment" and was on the brink of an historic schism.

I have to admit, I'm a little torn about this. Obviously, the schism of a church, defined here as a specific way of loving God, could be torn asunder. That's not something that's pleasant or desired. The children of such a schism would ideologically more coherent and cohesive, but is this something we want on the large scale of Christianity? Or do we want something more democratic? I spoke to a Bishop, just yesterday in fact, about the paradox of an open mind reaching an uncompromising position. A paradoxical state actually takes work since such an equilibrium is highly unstable. Is this something that can be practiced by an entire faith? I hope so, but I do wonder if it is possible.

I'm a Zen Christian

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I received this from a friend today.

FOUR ATTITUDES

Attitudes we need to have “on” duty in order to be willing to be changed

  1. Present my body as a living sacrifice. I must be willing to offer myself to God and to allow His Holy Spirit to search me and expose whatever He wants. (See Romans 12:1; Psalm 19:12; 139: 23, 24)
  2. Deny myself by being willing to relinquish or surrender to the Lord any thought, emotion, desire, or behavior that is not of faith or contrary to what He would want. (See Luke 9: 23, 24)
  3. Obey God’s will. Ask God to empower me to get up and do in action what He has asked me to do. (See James 1:22; 4:17)
  4. Take every thought captive. Being willing to examine my own thoughts and, if they are not of faith, let God take them and replace them with His thoughts. (See Isaiah 55:8, 9; Romans 14:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8)

Fuzzy Math

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What Ails GM and America?: Why the Rich Get Richer - Yahoo! Finance:

"I would say that what's good for GM and for America is to treat workers and investors fairly. Tell us the truth. Admit incompetence. Stop pretending. Stop the fuzzy math. Of course, telling the truth will mean being thrown out of office, but that might be a good start for an economic recovery."

I've long been a fan of Robert Kiyosaki and the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of books and was surprised to come across this gem of an article. Not for the writing, but for the statement on our leaders inability to even adequately manage this country's vast wealth. This applies esp. to Bush who has borrowed into the stratosphere. And let's not forget that in the midst of repealing the so-called "death tax" that only 1 in 37,000 of us will actually pay. More of the burden for repaying this debt will fall to our children long after those who are responsible for it have left the scene.

Saying Yes

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AlterNet: MediaCulture: Stephen Colbert's Address to the Graduates:

"Now will saying 'yes' get you in trouble at times? Will saying 'yes' lead you to doing some foolish things? Yes it will. But don't be afraid to be a fool. Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say no. But saying 'yes' begins things. Saying 'yes' is how things grow. Saying 'yes' leads to knowledge. 'Yes' is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say 'yes.'

And that's The Word."

Stephen Colbert in his singular wit imparts some real wisdom. I love his take on cynicsim.

Da Cos - The Hater Player

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What's Beef?

I [Dr. Marc Lamont Hill] didn’t bother to ask how Bill Cosby, who I was sure wasn’t in Atlanta, knew that I was on the radio discussing him. Instead, I asked what he was saying about me. He replied, “He’s calling you a liar and a hustler. He’s saying that you have a ‘hip-hop website’ and that you can’t be trying to help Black people with a ‘hip-hop website’”[sic]


Now "Da Cos," as one of my great friends calls him, has gone and done it and personally attacked one of my friends. Which puts him high up on my you-know-what list.

It's obvious from Mr. Cosby's rants and ravings that he can't with civility or aplomb deal with people who have intelligent, principled disagreements with him. Instead he throws tantrums like a child who he can't get his way. I can understand his antipathy for Dyson, who wrote a book and is admittedly fair game. But my man Dr. Hill wrote an op-ed that gave a reasoned argument against Cosby's "lightly dipped in truth" (I love that phrasing) self-help philosophy. He then followed up with a blog entry that gave Cosby respect and admiration for his philanthropy, but reiterated his issues with Cosby.

Instead of confronting Dr. Hill directly, Mr. Cosby chose to personally attack a young, untenured professor by denigrating his character and assaulting his work. To add insult to injury he attempts to intimidate him by calling his superiors! These aren't the actions of someone I can respect. In his self-righteousness, Mr. Cosby seems to expect that those around him (less wealthy? less influential?) to just bow down no matter how stupid he behaves or how vicious his rhetoric. He resorts to baseless character assassination when he can't deal with opposing points of view esp. when they are cogently presented. Talk about leading blacks vs. black leaders...

Dealing with the Devil?

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Print Story: US sweetens offer to Iran: diplomats on Yahoo! News:

"The United States is proposing 'lifting sanctions partially, not only waiving sanctions but actually lifting them,' in an agreement to be worked out in multilateral talks that would start once Iran suspended uranium enrichment, said a senior Western diplomat, who requested anonymity."

I think we have some final proof of the failure of Bush's preventative war doctrine. We are dealing with the Axis now. So much for cowboy diplomacy.