State of Belief is on Air America right now. I can't get the streaming to work--maybe I'll try to download and listen to the show later. Here's what's going to be on today's show...
Several religious leaders join our effort to shut down the President’s Faith-Based Initiative – learn how you can take action!Alternate link for comments
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Posted by Renee in Ohio at 5:15 PM
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I've had this expression rattling around in my head ever since I saw it recently in a diary on My Left Wing. I know I'd heard it before that--probably from my brother--but didn't know where it originated. Here's what I found on Everything2.Com
A line attributed many times to Shakespeare but actually it's from American author/critic/poet and wit Dorothy Parker. She is reported to have exclaimed "What fresh hell is this?" when her train of thought was interrupted by a telephone. She then started using it in place of "hello" when answering the phone or a knock at her door. In many ways she can be considered the patron saint of all tech support workers.Well, now that I've gotten that little aside out of the way, here's what got that expression *back* in my head recently. The National Day of Prayer Task Force car, that is to be driven in an upcoming Nascar race.
Amazing how one picture can sum up so succinctly what troubles me about my country these day.
It's hard to believe it's time again for the National Day of Prayer, which will fall on May 4 this year. But, while I was checking out the Faith and Values section of the Columbus Dispatch yesterday, there it was.
Many people in central Ohio and the rest of the country will pause to observe the National Day of Prayer on Thursday.There is something disturbingly in-your-face about a Bible-reading marathon at a municipal building.
Of course, I am well aware that expressing any such concern about that blurring of the line between church and state is likely to get one attacked for being anti-religion, as we saw in some attack ads during the 2004 election:
In Franklin County, the battleground county in the battleground state, incumbent Democratic Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy was attacked for failing to support a resolution to create a national day of prayer.Of course, what I find ironic is that fact that I oppose any state "blessing" of one faith tradition over another *because* of my Christian values, not in spite of them. It's all about that "do unto others the way you would have them do unto you" thing. Why should that be hard to understand? And I'm hardly alone...
Many people already know this, but for anyone who doesn't--or just for people who might appreciate the reminder in case they are thinking of writing a letter to the editor on this topic, Francis Bellamy, the Baptist Minister who first wrote the Pledge, chose his words very carefully, and chose *not* to include any reference to religion.
In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.Another Reverend weighs in...
Barry Lynn objects to National Day of Prayer
The executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State says Congress never should have established the event, which is observed each year on the first Thursday in May.Kinda proving his point, isn't she? You can read more of what Rev. Barry Lynn has to say about the National Day of Prayer here.
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 2:53 PM
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
I was saddened to learn that Rev. William Sloane Coffin died today. I know that he had been gravely ill for a number of years, and his death is not unexpected. But I'm still sad that I never had a chance to meet him. Here's part of an interview he did with PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly:
Justice is at the heart of religious faith. It's not something that is tacked on. And justice is not charity. Charity tries to alleviate the effects of injustice. Justice tries to eliminate the causes of injustice. Charity is a personal disposition. Justice is public policy. What this country needs, what I think God wants us to do, is not practice piecemeal charity but engage in wholesale justice. And that's not only to erase or greatly reduce the wage gap and the living standards in America, but really to be committed to doing something about the horrible, really horrible poverty of at least one third of the people on the planet. If you want to do something good for national security, and every American should, take billions of dollars and wage war against world poverty. That would have a very sobering effect on terrorism. Terrorism now has a wonderful recruitment policy supplied by the United States foreign policy. If we were serious, with other nations, to engage the war on poverty around the world, that would stem the flow of recruits to the ranks of terrorists.
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 9:31 PM
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Interesting article: Most don’t expect to rise from their graves
Most Americans don’t believe they will experience a resurrection of their bodies when they die, putting them at odds with a core teaching of Christianity.
My husband, of the "Church of the Restful Sabbath" was raised in a family of "Bible-believing Christians" (Apostolic, I think) and said he had never heard of that belief. I tried to explain what I remember about it, but it's been a lot of years since I learned about that in Catholic schools. But the words "rise from the grave" made me think of bad horror movies more than any Christian teachings. I don't recall ever being taught that we would have the *same* body in the next life. For those of you who were raised in a Christian denomination, what were you taught about this? If your understanding of this has changed over the years, how?
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Posted by Renee in Ohio at 3:38 PM