I think it is important that mainstream to progressive religious views get more air time--we are a long way from catching up with the right wing Christian media giants, but I want to make sure I do what I can to increase awareness of what's out there. So, a brief reminder that State of Belief, hosted by Welton Geddy of The Interfaith Alliance, is going to be on tonight at 5 p.m. EST. Previous programs are available viat podcast. Here is what's going to be on tonight's program...
Esther Kaplan, author of With God On Their Side: George W. Bush and the Christian Right, tells us how the Christian Right got so powerful - and what scares her most about them.
Sunday, January 29, 2006
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 4:11 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006
This is the so-called "anonymous 31", but as you see from the article, they never had any intention or expectation that they would remain anonymous when they signed their names to an IRS complaint against Rev. Rod Parsley and Rev. Russell Johnson.
"We come from different traditions, we come perhaps from different theological points of view, we come from different experiences, but we all come together around this one single concern," Williams said, referring to the pastors representing nine Judeo-Christian denominations.
Did you catch that? The nice "Christian" minister calls his fellow persons of the cloth an "unholy alliance".
Parsley said if the pastors had come to him personally, "rather than air their grievances in the media, we certainly would have quickly put their fears to rest."
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 11:09 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Yesterday I posted about the Ohio governor's race in general, and specifically about how perplexed I am that newly announced candidate Eric Fingerhut's criticism of Howard Dean's recent visit to our state. The odd thing as that Fingerhut was on record as being "insulted" by Dean's visit before the event even took place--someone brought it up in the question and answer period immediately after the Honesty in Government event held on Wednesday morning. Petty snipes at fellow Democrats would seem to be a counterproductive tactic in a year that we have Ken Blackwell and his band of zealous theocrats to fight.
Strickland grew up hardscrabble in Southern Ohio, on a dirt road that Roy Rogers and Branch Rickey also called home. A story that turns up often in his speeches concerns the chicken shack his father fixed up as temporary housing after the family home burned down. "Believe me," he's fond of saying, "if you learn anything from living in a chicken shack, it's that things can get better."
Click here for the rest.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 2:55 PM
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Driving my daughter to choir practice, I passed a Catholic church that apparently took to heart Bush's proclamation of National Sanctity of Life Day. The lawn was covered with white crosses, and there was a sign that said "abortion kills babies". I couldn't read all of the words as I drove past, but apparently there was a numercal comparison between abortion victims and Holocaust victims.
National Sanctity of Human Life Day is an opportunity to strengthen our resolve in creating a society where every life has meaning and our most vulnerable members are protected and defended including unborn children, the sick and dying, and persons with disabilities and birth defects. This is an ideal that appeals to the noblest and most generous instincts within us, and this is the America we will achieve by working together.
So, let's look at the Bush administration's track record on protecting and defending the most vulnerable members of our society. Unborn children? Right, this is supposed to be a point in his favor, since he's against abortion. But I would think that protecting and defending them would also involve making sure that their mothers have access to affordable medical care, and that their jobs pay a living wage. The sick and dying? Persons with disabilities? I'm thinking the main idea here is that he is against euthanasia, but I'll bet that administration policies have adversely affected each of these groups.
Let's not miss this opportunity. Let's make sure that newspapers around the country receive letters tomorrow morning addressing the Bush administration's *callous disregard* for the sanctity of life, giving specific examples. Please use the comments to share facts that can be used in letters to the editor, or to post your own letter that you are sending...or any other ideas this sparks for you.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:31 PM
Saturday, January 21, 2006
I hope to have more time to post here soon. Since this is tomorrow, I wanted to pass along the following email update as a heads-up to anyone who is interested...
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 1:16 PM
Monday, January 16, 2006
Haven't had much time to write new posts here for a while, as work, more work, bits of my computer going (virtually) kablooie. I am thankful that I still *have* a computer that more or less works, but it is going to take a while before I regain some vital pieces of functionality.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:24 PM
Friday, January 06, 2006
Something I have been thinking about lately is what makes an organization a "religion" rather than a charity, social club, activist group, etc.? From time to time I hear that some Unitarian Universalist church is in danger of losing its tax-exempt status because they do not require that one believe in a supreme being with supernatural powers. Of course, I'm sure that these challenges typically have more to do with the fact that UUs are often activists for issues of social justice, and don't tend to vote Republican. Having spent two years at a Unitarian Universalist church here in Columbus, I would never hesitate to call it a "real" church, but I'm not sure how to explain why I think so.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:27 PM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Via the Flying Spaghetti Monster web site (because the big noodly one gets a brief mention on the second page of the article, I found this Scientific American piece:
"I appreciate that many readers will be profoundly distrustful of the tack I am taking here," he writes. "They will see me as just another liberal professor trying to cajole them out of some of their convictions, and they are dead right about that--that's what I am, and that's exactly what I am trying to do." This warning comes at the end of a long, two-chapter overture in which Dennett defends the idea that religion is a fit subject for scrutiny. The question is how many of the faithful will follow him that far.
Read the rest here.
Interesting. On the one hand, I certainly consider myself to be among "the faithful", but I do think that science can tell us some things about religion in a broad sense. But I don't think science can render faith meaningless, any more than religion can render science useless.
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 2:33 PM
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I'm off to a slow start getting my mind around the new year, getting the kids back to school and myself back to teaching. And finding additional work to help make ends meet. And...well, suffice it to say that there are lots of things filling my time and keeping me from blogging as much as I'd like to. But I've been wanting to post this since I first heard it as a liturgical reading in my church last Christmas season. Since it was used again this past Sunday, and I have the text in front of me, I'd like to share it now...
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 2:20 PM