Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was asked about how "personal and political baggage" he perceivably carries could affect his chances if he runs for president in the next election cycle in an interview on "Iowa Press" last Friday.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Anyone who knows anything about either Augustine or Greek philosophy knows that this is nonsense. There were any number of important Christians who did this before Augustine—Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa, Mallius Theodore, Marius Victorinus, Ambrose of Milan. These people were not only earlier than Augustine, they were acquainted with Greek philosophy more deeply and intimately than he was. They read and spoke Greek, and he did not.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
- CROP Walk
- Church World Service
- March of Dimes
- Amnesty International
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- American Association of University Women
- Planned Parenthood
"Our researchers found that in armed conflict, in places like the Congo and Darfur, the pregnancies were not only unwanted but led to ostracism. ... Women were further stigmatised if they had a child from a combatant from the other side. If a woman is raped and doesn't have access to abortion, that's cruel and degrading treatment."
"Our core business is people suffering from growing human rights abuses. Rape is used as a weapon of war."
Monday, March 14, 2011
- Unpopular Bahrain tyrants have requested military assistance from neighboring unpopular Saudi tyrants. Iran, which supports the sure-to-win-eventually protesters, rejoices. Rest of world doesn't know who to hate and fear most.
- Sarah Palin reported to be on outs with FoxNews. Both parties rejoice at immediate uptick in news coverage. Rest of world doesn't know who to hate and fear most.
- Some guy we've never heard of doesn't believe in Hell. This is hardly news; lots of people don't believe in Hell. This guy's a minister, so people get upset. Big freaking whoop. We knew a guy who stood in the pulpit on Easter morning and said he didn't believe in the Resurrection. (We asked him about it once, and he smirked. Yet not only did lightning not strike the guy dead, he retired comfortably -- leaving behind a crippled and dying congregation. So we do believe in Hell, mostly for this lameass. And for Joe "Spiderman Kills His Kids" Quesada.)
- Speaking of Spiderman: Amazingly, nobody has turned out the lights. Officially. Yet.
- A church in Florida has spent several years worshiping inside a balloon. Now they can't pay the rent, so ... that sucking sound has nothing to do with NAFTA.
- Tip of the biretta to Salon's William Wolfrum for this magnificent headline: "God Shoots Himself in Wynnn Las Vegas Hotel Room." We wish the post were as good.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Saturday, March 05, 2011
Friday, March 04, 2011
They had charged that the university planned to tear down Negro slums in Roxbury to make room for the expanding Harvard Medical School, and that members of the Corporation had illegitimate vested interests in preserving ROTC on campus: "These businessmen want Harvard to continue producing officers for the Viet Nam war or for use against black rebellions at home for political reasons."
I advocate the full return of ROTC to Harvard. As an undergraduate in 1969, I was twice suspended from Harvard for occupying buildings with the demand to abolish ROTC. Why is my position changed? ...
[Because] the United States should seek the best officers possible for our armed forces. The best officers combine leadership and discipline with humanitarian instincts. Harvard has an obligation to educate men and women to complement the officers of the military academies. We need Marshalls as well as Pattons.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
My father, and men like him, were men of faith, shaped by loyalty to company, country, and church. Theirs was not a “greatest generation” who were called on to sacrifice their lives on the foreign shores of Europe or Korea or Vietnam. They gave their lives in the office and the sanctuary and the voting booth. ... It was the fabric of how they spent their time. The days and weeks and years they spent meant something beyond paychecks and possessions. They were Christian Americans who worked for a living in the greatest country that had ever been. Church and country and company all blended into a way of life that was sacred and special.
By the 1970s and 1980s my father watched the objects of his faith dissolve. The basis of his vocational, civic, and spiritual attachments fractured and collapsed. One by one, everything he held to be most holy and essential to his way of life slipped away and changed shape, so much so that he could no longer recognize it. ... His frustration was more existential than political. His country, which had once been both victorious and morally good, was no longer either. He had believed in the divine specialness of America, and now there was very little in which to trust.
The same cultural pressures that bent America in the 1960s and 1970s pressed hard on the LCMS. As the synod became more and more Americanized, it absorbed the diversity and divisiveness of the culture. The monolithic Missouri Synod, where all believed, worshipped, and acted in common, slowly went away.
A great battle over the inerrancy of the Bible came to stand for many of these changes and tore through the denomination in the 1970s. ... Yet in the aftermath of that great struggle, congregations continued to go their own ways in matters of belief, worship, and practice and became more and more splintered. For my father, this was heresy. The Synod, in order to be the Synod, had to be of one mind.
My father quit going to church for a number of years in the 1980s because the local LCMS congregation to which he belonged was using a non-LCMS hymnal and embracing practices that were unknown in the LCMS of his youth. The smaller issues revealed larger ones. His synod had ceased to exist.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
About nine years ago Tom [Gillespie, then the president] invited me to give the Commencement address at Princeton Seminary and I happily accepted; and between the acceptance of the gracious invitation and the time that I was to appear at Princeton, I created a spot of bother, I guess one would say, and gained my fifteen minutes of notoriety on a subject that has seemingly obsessed the Presbyterians for many years. So, not wanting to embarrass Tom, and not wanting myself to be embarrassed, I called him and told him that I thought that, considering everything, I should withdraw from the obligation and we would call it a draw. I was aided in that decision by a letter from several Christian students from Princeton who, in the name of the gospel, asked me not to come because my presence would be divisive.
Who was I to divide the Presbyterians? So I prepared not to go. Well, Tom Gillespie, praise God, would not hear of it. He said, "You were invited and you must come, and I promise you a warm-hearted and faultless reception here at Princeton," even though our views -- he didn't say this, but I understood it -- on the subject of sexuality are not only different but pretty widely publicized.
So I girded up my loins and made my way to Princeton Junction, and found my way to the Chapel. As you know, Princeton Chapel is an enormous parking garage of a place, and thousands and thousands of people were there, and there was that slight undercurrent that you know so well -- nothing explicitly stated but you could feel that there was a little something going on. It was just as Tom had said, however, with everything very nice and pleasant.
Then came the moment when I was to preach, and up I went into the enormous pulpit -- it takes half an hour to get into that pulpit -- and there was a hushed moment of expectation. I said to them, "I want to commend you at Princeton for your courage, I want to commend you for your hospitality; you have done a brave and good thing in inviting me, an out and open and affirming and practicing Baptist, to speak to you on this occasion."
I now have an unambiguous vocation — a mission — to address the religious causes and roots of homophobia,” he told The Washington Post months later. “I will devote the rest of my life to addressing the ‘religious case’ against gays.”
He was true to his word. His sermons and lectures, always well attended, were packed in Cambridge and around the country as he embarked on a campaign to rebut literal and fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
President Barack Obama's childhood in Kenya shaped his world view ... [and that] that Obama was raised in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather.
“These days I’m a teetotal, mean-spirited, right-wing, narrow-minded, conservative Christian bigot, but not a racist,” she told an Australian newspaper, The Daily Mail, in 2003. Bigotry, she added, “just means you don’t have an open mind.”