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Friday, December 19, 2008

A Question of the Day.

What positive role does tradition and custom play in our society?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zero Tolerance on Intolerance

I'm going to bump my fun question out of the way because I read this story and just could not avoid comment. Many gay rights groups are angry at Obama because he's going to let Rick Warren pray at the inauguration. From CNN:
Warren, one of the most influential religious leaders in the nation, has championed issues such as a reduction of global poverty, human rights abuses and the AIDS epidemic.

But the founder of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, has also adhered to socially conservative stances -- including his opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights that puts him at odds with many in the Democratic Party, especially the party's most liberal wing.

"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now," Andrew Sullivan wrote on the Atlantic Web site Wednesday.
This is so unbelievably frustrating. Does Andrew Sullivan really think that because Rick Warren will pray at the inauguration that Obama is not going to advance gay equality? Really? I have grown so unbelievably weary of slash and burn mentality. Rick Warren is wrong about gay rights. He is wrong about preemptive war. But he is right about poverty, climate change, and global AIDS epidemic. He is right about encouraging the evangelical community to stop being single issue focused.

Earlier in the article American Way President Kathryn Kolbert said, "There is no substantive difference between Rick Warren and James Dobson. . . . The only difference is tone. His tone is moderate, but his ideas are radical." That is such B.S. When was the last time James Dobson said we should do something about climate change. I have lost my patience for this unhelpful all or nothing attitude. I can't stand liberal fundamentalist fanatics anymore than I can the conservative variety.

A Question for the Day

Do you think Jesus was fun to hang out with?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Less Backlash More Back and Forth

It saddened me when Arizona and other states passed initiatives attacking the GLBT community, an often demonized and misunderstood minority. As an American, I saw equality for all fall; as a Christian I saw love held less important than tradition.

Since the passage of these Jim Crow style initiatives, there has been backlash against the initiatives’ supporters, specifically against the LDS Church. I understand the need to express anger. Surely I would lash out against a law declaring love between a Protestant and a Catholic invalid and illegal?

But I suggest that we move away from retribution and toward understanding. As Americans, we must tirelessly fight for equality for all, and at the same time as Christians, we must help those mired in tradition to understand that Christ commands that love, not tradition, be our guide. The latter can be achieved only through honest dialogue, not by punishing those who disagree.

A final note, it concerns me that of the triumvirate of intolerance—LDS , Catholic and Christian Fundamentalist churches—the LDS Church is bearing the brunt of the backlash. Is it because of the three that church is an easy target, an often demonized and misunderstood minority?

I sent this off to the Arizona Republic and the East Valley Tribune. The Republic only allows 200-words, which probably made this a better post than most of the stuff I write.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

I like to write a post or two over the weekend since pointed out to me that you can schedule posts to go up mid week. No such luck this weekend. On Saturday the kids and I went shopping for performance clothes. After returning home, and minutes before the violin recital, we discovered that Kate has no dress shoes. So she wore a pair of her mother's, which did not really fit at all. Saturday night was spent writing the PowerPoint for church and memorizing my Isaiah scripture. Sunday, the kids did a neat little drama with some other kids to open the 9:00 a.m. service and I did the Isaiah scripture in between running the PowerPoint. I taught the 5-11 year-olds for Sunday school, then repeat the same routine from the 9 am on the 11 am. While at the 11 am service I got an email reminder that Matt and I were doing a podcast with the author of A Secret of the Universe, Stephen L. Gibson. So, I prepared for that in the afternoon and recorded it from 5-6:30 or so. (Past podcasts from Gibson available here.) A less than restful weekend, but I don't think I'd have it any other way.