Friday, February 29, 2008

Zen Koan of the Day.

MU!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

One God

Recently, Dom (of villageidiotsavant ) recommended that I check out a blog called christian cognition.The writer, Mike Lee, is a police officer living in Jackson, MI (birthplace of the Republican party).

Currently, Mike is having a "weekly challenge" with another blogger (Alex).

I want to comment on something Mike wrote in his answer to their question of the week. "President Bush also said Christians and Muslims worship the same God (you know my position on that one)"

I felt it was more appropriate to put my comment here rather than in the comment section of his blog; I intend to have a rather lengthy comment and I don't want to monopolize Mike's space.

First of all, I've only recently begun reading his blog, so, I don't know his position viz a viz Bush's statement on Christians and Muslims worshiping the same God. I'm assuming, from the tone, that he doesn't agree with Bush on that.

Not a few Christians are uncomfortable with the idea that Muslims might worship the same God we do.We worship God, not Allah, they'll say. We believe in the Trinity....Father, Son and Holy Spirit...and the Muslims don't. How can anyone believe our God and theirs is one and the same?

But, look in the Quran, and you'll find stories of Adam, Moses, Jesus and even the Virgin Mary.
Our understanding of the God we worship in Christianity comes from the Jewish tradition in what we call "the Old Testament". Our God is the God of Abraham.

Muslims, like Jews and Christians, also worship the God of Abraham, although the traditions in each religion differ in many details. In Judaism and Christianity, it was Issac who God asked Abraham to sacrifice;  in Islam, it is believed that the son Abraham was to sacrifice was Ishmael- who they also believe to be an ancestor of Muhammad.

Many Christians will argue that Muslims do not believe in the Triune God, therefore, Allah is a different deity. Jews do not accept the Trinity either, yet, no one will deny that we worship the same God as the Jews.

I don't want to gloss over the disagreements. Christianity and Islam are different. Our world views are light years apart....so far apart that it would be impossible for both religions to be right. But, there's no denying that both religions have a common root.
.

Thoughts on The U.S. Religious Landscape

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has released their U.S. Religious Landscape Survey as well as a number of articles analyzing the survey.
One such article ( Study Finds Americans Fluid in Their Religious Affiliation ) gives the breakdown of Christians in the USA as -Evangelical Protestant: 26 percent -Mainline Protestant: 22 percent -Catholic: 24 percent.....pointing out that Evangelical Protestants outnumber Catholics in America.
This is a bit misleading as the Catholic Church is the largest denomination in the country.
If you go to the survey and examine the breakdown, you'll find that the Evangelical Protestants get that 26% number because that group comprises more than 50 different denominations. The largest denomination in that group is the Southern Baptist Convention which makes up less than 7% of the population.
The, so called, Mainline Protestant group (22%) contain nearly 30 denominations; the largest being United Methodists at less than 6%.
When you look at the actual breakdown of the denominations by percentages, the fact that Catholics make up one in four American is impressive indeed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Obama "Dressed" Photo.

Someone connected to Hillary Clinton's campaign found a copy of this 2006 photo of Barack Obama and,of course, that "someone" made sure the photo made it's way onto the Internet.
Obama's campaign accused Clinton's people of "shameful offensive fear-mongering" for releasing the photo.
I don't quite see the point of that reaction.
Sure, Obama looks pretty ridiculous in the Somali costume, but does anyone really think he's a secret Muslim or something?
It's long been a practice among politicians to find and publish unflattering photos of their opponents. Not even the candidate's relatives are immune from having the same treatment.
Does anybody really care? Is a photo like this going to change anyone's opinion of a candidate?
Politicians will do just about anything; dressing up in a weird, local costume is standard fare for pols traveling abroad.
Maybe that's why we don't see too many of them traveling to Scotland.

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Crock of Apple Butter.

The photo above shows a crock filled with apple butter.General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz recently dismissed global warming as being a crock of something other than apple butter which could, never the less, be very close to apple butter in appearance.
This isn't the first time Lutz has made controversial statements in the area of 'autos versus the environment'. The article linked to above notes;
" As part of a campaign against higher fuel economy standards, Lutz wrote in a 2006 blog posting that forcing automakers to sell smaller cars would be 'like trying to address the obesity problem in this country by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell smaller, tighter sizes.' ".
Maybe Lutz was on to something. As I mentioned in a previous post, (More Dangerous Than Terrorism) there are "experts" claiming that governments need to spend more money on the problem of obesity.
I guess, we could just have the government provide coupons for skimpy clothing with monthly food stamps.

More Dangerous than Terrorism......

According to this article, governments are spending too much time and money fighting terrorism while fighting obesity, smoking and a lack of exercise should take a higher priority.
One "expert" was quoted, as saying,

"While we've been focussing so much attention on that we've had this silent epidemic of obesity that's killing millions of people around the world and we're devoting very little attention to it and a negligible amount of money."

While I'm sure obesity kills more people every year than, say, terrorist bombings, obesity is more a lifestyle issue. Who does not know that too much food and too little exercise can make one fat?

I'm finding it hard to see the comparison between a self correcting problem like obesity and the possibility of being an innocent bystander in a terrorist attack.
Greater than terrorism may be the notion (held by too many people in our society) that the government is the solution to any and all of our problems.

In the third world, governmental incompetence exacerbate the problems that cause poverty and malnutrition......now, in the West, we expect incompetent governments to solve the problems caused by our relative wealth.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More thoughts on Libertarians and Abortion.

After yesterday's entry, (Libertarians for Life) I realized that I needed to learn more about Libertarianism and the Libertarian Party.
I went to the Party's website and took a look at the Party's platform.
From the section, I.8 Reproductive Rights , it seems the party is pro choice.
"Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration."

The question, then, is whether or not we recognize the "personhood" of the preborn human.
As I pointed out yesterday, the position of the Libertarians for Life is that the preborn human does have personhood.

"To explain and defend our case, LFL argues that:
1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from fertilization.
2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.
3. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally depersonify any one of us, born or preborn.
6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them."

Also, from the Libertarian Party platform,
"The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition."
I don't quite understand their point. I don't which "government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition." it refers to.
And this,
"Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people's abortions, nor should any government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births."
I would say "Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location" would apply to the preborn as does this from the Party's "Statement of Principles";
"We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that, in our democracy, we will ever be able to make abortion illegal. Too many people believe abortion to be a "right".
I suppose the more realistic approach....the more pragmatic....would be to convince more people that abortion is an immoral act. If more people understand this, then there would be fewer abortions regardless of whether or not it's "legal".

Libertarians For Life.

I could never vote for a candidate who is a member of the Democrat Party.The Party is pro big government, pro socialist and worst of all, in my view,pro abortion.
For many years I felt as if my only choice was the Republican Party.The Party was for small government, capitalism, individual freedom and pro life. Now, with the top two vote getters in the party being McCain and Huckabee, the idea of small government and free enterprise seems to have flown out the window.
I was reluctant to choose the Libertarian candidates because of what I believed was the Party's pro abortion stance. The little I knew about the Libertarians came from listening to radio talk show host Neal Boortz who is a rabidly pro abortion Libertarian.
Things may have changed, however.
I've learned that there is a pro life wing to the Libertarians.Calling themselves Libertarians for Life, their website is http://www.l4l.org/
I've looked at some of their literature and it looks like I may have found a new political home. I still have a long way to go before I get through the whole thing but it certainly looks worthwhile to me.
This comes from their site:

"Libertarians for Life was founded in 1976 to show why abortion is a wrong, not a right. Our reasoning is expressly scientific and philosophical rather than either pragmatic or religious, or merely political or emotional. Politically, of course, our perspective is libertarian. Libertarianism's basic principle is that, under justice, each of us has the obligation not to aggress against (violate the rights of) anyone else -- for any reason (personal, social, or political), however worthy.
The Libertarian Case Against Abortion
To explain and defend our case, LFL argues that:
1. Human offspring are human beings, persons from fertilization.
2. Abortion is homicide -- the killing of one person by another.
3. There is never a right to kill an innocent person. Prenatally, we are all innocent persons.
4. A prenatal child has the right to be in the mother's body. Parents have no right to evict their children from the crib or from the womb and let them die. Instead both parents, the father as well as the mother, owe them support and protection from harm.
5. No government, nor any individual, has a just power to legally depersonify any one of us, born or preborn.
6. The proper purpose of the law is to side with the innocent, not against them."

Beats the heck out of the Obama / McCain option.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Obama Blows His Nose.

I came across this at the Chicago Tribune site.

Even blowing his nose, Obama gets applause
by John McCormick

DALLAS – It's probably safe to say that you have arrived as a politician when your audience applauds when you blow your nose.

Yes, just a day before a debate in Texas, Sen. Barack Obama has a head cold.

And about a half-hour into a speech here, the Illinois Democrat announced that he had to take a quick break. "Gotta blow my nose here for a second," Obama said.

Out came a Kleenex (or perhaps it was a hankie), and he wiped his nose.

The near-capacity audience at the Reunion Arena, which his campaign said totaled 17,000, broke out in a slightly awkward applause.

Despite the cold, Obama's voice seems as strong as ever. He has a light schedule today and some time to rest up before his debate Thursday evening with Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York.

McCain's Choice for VP. Part 2.

Always one to do things bass ackwards, after posting "McCain's Choice for VP", I took a cruise on the Internet to see what others were thinking vis a vis McCain's possible pick as a running mate.
A site called Right Wing News had "John McCain's Top 24 Potential Picks For Vice-President"
24 seems a bit much, but the piece was informative. I especially liked what the writer had to say about Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn:
"The TN Congresswoman is attractive, has a superb personality, and has a 97% lifetime ACU rating. She would be a fantastic choice if McCain wanted to reach out to conservative voters and women voters at the same time. Of course, Blackburn has only been in office since 2002, but that still makes her more experienced than Barack Obama. How seriously McCain would look at Blackburn is hard to say, but at first glance, she would appear to be an excellent choice for Veep."
I took a look at her on wikipedia and I believe I could vote for her.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

McCain's Choice for VP.

Much to the dismay (and dislike) of a good many Republican conservatives, it looks as if John McCain will get the Party's nomination.Many of these conservatives....myself included....have seriously considered not voting in the Presidential election this November rather than vote for McCain.
The Democrats appear ready to nominate Obama (assuming Clinton isn't able to pull off a coup d'etat during the convention).Many of those conservatives contemplating not participating might vote never the less if the Democrats ran with Hillary, but the prospect of Obama as the Democratic candidate probably won't motivate the anti McCain Republicans to vote.
Traditionally, a Presidential candidate will choose a Vice-Presidential running mate that balances the ticket as a way of attracting voters he wouldn't otherwise get.Right now, Huckabee is staying in the race, most likely in an attempt to force McCain to choose him for VP.
This would be a big mistake.
Huckabee might bring in a few votes for McCain....but not many. Anyone who'd go for Huckabee isn't likely to vote for a Democrat and having him on the ticket won't bring in any new voters.
The logical choice for the Republican's Vice President nominee is Condoleezza Rice. As Secretary of State, Rice beats Obama and Clinton when it comes to the experience needed. Anyone doubting that she is more than qualified for the job need only check out the article on her at wikipedia.
Picking the right VP is going to make all the difference for McCain. I hope he's listening.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The 30 Day Sex Challenge.

Paul Wirth, head pastor of the Relevant Church in Ybor City, Florida, has asked married couples in his congregation to help roll back the tide of divorce by ....having sex everyday for a month.
The challenge for single parishioners is slightly different, though - to abstain from sex for 30 days.
Pastor Wirth says,
"We thought if we could challenge our married couples to really engage in intimacy for 30 days and really focus on each others needs for 30 days it would revolutionize their relationships and if we could get single people to remove sex from the equation for 30 days and focus on what really makes their relationships really work it could revolutionize their relationships the current ones that they're in and maybe their future relationships with their future spouses."
Wirth is introducing the 30 day sex challenge to his congregation and the church has a couple of web sites to promote the plan:
http://www.relevantchurch.com/
and http://www.30daysexchallenge.com/.
Needless to say, you can find comments on Pastor Wirth and his church throughout the blogosphere. One such blog is ntrminblog.blogspot.com which asks,
"Why, I wondered, would a pastor be satisfied with exhorting the single people of his flock to abstain from sex for only 30 days?--as though unmarried sex, like too much caffeine or too much sugar, were nothing more than a bad habit that needs to be minimized."
My question though, is, what have we come to as a culture if it's necessary for the church to tell us to have sex with our spouse? I mean, you know, God already told us in Genesis to "be fruitful and multiply" and I don't see why we'd have to be told twice.
I suppose one reason this story is getting notice is because too many people have a distorted view on how the church views sex.Many erroneously believe that because the church forbids sex out side marriage then all sex must be bad. Not so. Sex in marriage has always been encouraged.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says,
1643 "Conjugal love involves a totality, in which all the elements of the person enter - appeal of the body and instinct, power of feeling and affectivity, aspiration of the spirit and of will. It aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility. In a word it is a question of the normal characteristics of all natural conjugal love, but with a new significance which not only purifies and strengthens them, but raises them to the extent of making them the expression of specifically Christian values."
and,
2361 "Sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is not something simply biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and woman commit themselves totally to one another until death."
I can't help but wonder if Wirth's plan to have his flock undergo this challenge during Lent has any significance?

Condom Fashions.

The photo on the left is one of ten photos I received in an email today.Those photos come from a July 2007 Condom Fashion Show held in Beijing.Rather than display all the photos my friend sent, I will post a link to another blog that has the same 10 photos....and then some.That link is here.

According to the blog,
"Models parade in outfits made of condoms during a fashion show at the 4th China Reproductive Health New Technologies & Products Expo in Beijing July 11, 2007. Condoms of all shapes and sizes were used to make dresses, hats and even lollipops.

Models fought through extravagant soap bubble special effects to show off tight-fitting wedding gowns, scaly-looking evening dresses, outrageous bikinis and other garments made entirely of condoms."

The two photos below are not from the Chinese fashion show, but from the 2006 World AIDS Day in Thailand which had it's own "Condom Chain of Life Festival”; a concept initially developed by UNESCO.

The United Nations Development Programme website reported,
"Beauty queens Miss Thailand, Lalana Kongtoranin and Miss Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova took part in the event, drawing as one could expect, significant media attention. Both Misses acted as “official judges” of a one-of-a kind condom costumes fashion show and later on actively tied condoms alongside AIDS activists, personalities, people living with HIV/AIDS and festival participants; all attempting at the Guinness Book world record of the longest Condom chain."

During the Condom Chain of Life festival, a 2.7 km condom chain was tied. The chain was tied by 1436 participants who tied 24516 condoms together.
Unfortunately for the Thai record holders, the record was beaten in Nov. 2007 in Romania when a 3300 meter condom chain was registered.The final tally read: 1683 volunteers, 180 minutes, 25,773 Love Plus condoms, 3269 meters.

No word on a Romanian condom fashion show.


The Catholic Church in Qatar.

According to wikipiedia, there are more than 58,000 Overseas Filipino Workers working in the Islamic country of Qatar.I do not have the exact numbers, but I assume that the majority of these Filipinos are Roman Catholic.

Even though,"places of worship for various religions is a fundamental human right guaranteed by Islam" the first Catholic church is only now being allowed to be built in Qatar and is nearing completion.The Catholic church of St. Mary will be inaugurated near Doha on March 14 in time for Holy Week and Easter.

Unlike traditional Catholic churches, St Mary's church will not be allowed to display any symbols of Christianity outside the building. It will not have a bell tower nor a standing Cross or other sign showing it to be a Christian place of worship.The reason for the lack of the outward display of Christian symbols is because many Muslims in Qatar believe " that the Christians have the right to practice their faith, but should not have permission to build places of worship".

To reassure the Muslims, St. Mary's parish priest, Father Tomasito Veneracion, said, "It will be merely a place for collective prayer.It will not have crosses outside the building or serve as a platform for proselytizing".

To accommodate the Christian community in Qatar -which includes Indians, Filipinos, Europeans, Arabs and Americans of several denominations- five other Churches are also being built on the compound that has been leased out by Qatari leaders. The Churches include Anglican, Coptic and the Greek Orthodox and an Inter-denomination Christian Church Centre, where 11 Indian churches will be under a single roof.

When this church opens, Saudi Arabia will be the only Islamic nation that does not permit the construction of Christian churches.

There are about 1.2 million Christians in Saudi Arabia, nearly a million of them Catholics. Most are Filipino migrant workers.

Monday, February 18, 2008

George Bush in Africa.

If one were to believe the Left in this country,the popularity and credibility of the United States is at an all time low.Of course, they also put the blame for this on George W. Bush.
Just before his departure for his African tour, the Chicago Tribune had this article on Bush and Africa; saying, "Bush gets restrained praise on Africa.Tour will highlight administration's aid, but ongoing conflicts detract from gains, some critics say".
As it turns out, Bush is being greeted by thousands of cheering people upon his arrival. Who would have thought that Bush would be basking in rare adulation on his African tour?
Bush has spent more money on aid to Africa than any other US President, and is popular on the continent for his personal programs to fight AIDS and malaria and to help hospitals and schools.
According to Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete,because of the U.S. anti-malaria program under Bush, 5 percent of patients tested positive for the disease on the offshore islands of Zanzibar in 2007 compared to 40 percent three years earlier.
Bush's legacy in Africa would be saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of mothers and children who would otherwise have died from malaria or AIDS and enabling millions of people to get an education, Kikwete said.
Not only has Bush given more aid to Africa than Bill Clinton's administration, he pledges even more aid to fight malaria in Africa.
Never the less, I won't hold my breathe waiting for the Bush-haters to acknowledge the President's positive contributions.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Redirect.

Rather than post an entry today, I thought I'd redirect you all to a discussion on "Christianity versus Buddhism" we're having on another blog- villageidiotsavant.

What Would Buddha Do?

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a fan of Dominique Cimafranca and his blog, village idiot savant . In a recent post, entitled Ryonouke's "The Spider's Thread" , Dom gives an excellent commentary on the 1918 short story. Reading the post, I was reminded of a conversation I once had with an old friend. I left a comment saying as much; I want to elaborate on the comment I made.

More than a few "baby boomers" abandoned their Christian upbringing for the more exotic Buddhism. I suspect that, for many, it was a way to show themselves to be superior and more sophisticated than the great unwashed. It's not unusual to find that many of these Western Buddhists do not practice the precepts of the religion; they never meditate and are ravenous carnivores to boot.
This old friend told me of two books he had enjoyed reading; Charlotte Kasl's "If the Buddha Dated" and "If the Buddha Married".

I haven't read either book, but in an article about the books, Kasl glosses over the fact that Prince Siddhartha Gautama abandoned his pregnant wife in his search for enlightenment.

"One might rightly ask, then, why would we look for wisdom on marriage from a man who left his wife and child for a life of celibacy? The answer lies in his exploration into the roots of human suffering and the profound wisdom of his teachings that lead to joy, compassion, and loving kindness-traits that free us to form loving relationships."

The fact is, according to Buddhist tradition, upon learning that his wife had given birth to a son, the future Buddha gave him the name Rāhula, saying  "A rāhu is born, a fetter has arisen."

Very telling. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines "fetter" as :
1 : a chain or shackle for the feet
2 : something that confines

So, we're "to form loving relationships" by abandoning the ones who are most dependent on us.
If the way to Nirvana means leaving my wife and child, I'll pass on Nirvana.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Christian Ramadan ?

In one of the most famous scenes in Literature, Cervantes' character, Don Quixote attacks windmills that he believes to be ferocious giants.
In Holland , the country best known for windmills, there are some who do not see the "ferocious giant" in their midst....believing the giant to be a harmless windmill.
That ferocious giant is Islam.
Recognizing that many people in Holland (as well as through out the West) are unfamiliar with Lent, some Dutch Catholics have begun referring to the Lenten fast as the "Christian Ramadan”. They believe that, in doing so, less observant Christians may become more aware of the spirituality, sobriety and the aspects of self denial that are a part Lent. We're more familiar with Ramadan, they believe.
Although the article I read does not mention him, this has the proverbial fingerprints of Dutch Bishop "Tiny" Muskens all over it.Bishop Muskens, if you recall, once suggested that Dutch Catholics should pray to Allah . Allah, he said, is simply the Arabic word for God and both Muslims and Christians already do that in the Middle East as well as in Indonesia where Muskens once worked as a missionary.
In looks as if it is only a matter of time, until Islam becomes the dominant religion in Europe. The Europeans, for the most part, have turned their backs on their Christian heritage and traditional Western values and culture.
One wonders, when that day arrives, will the Muslims begin destroying the great Catholic cathedrals in Europe the way the Taliban destroyed the ancient Buddhist sculptures in Afghanistan?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Say....Cheeeese.

I came across an article that tells how Muslims are getting around the polygamy prohibitions in the U.K. and Canada.

"It was revealed in early February that new rules drawn up by the UK's Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) allow Muslim men - who under Sharia law are permitted up to four wives - to claim welfare benefits for more than one wife.
In addition, while bigamy remains a crime under British law, immigration rules contain a loophole that allow a man to obtain a civil divorce from a current wife, while continuing to live with her in the UK as her spouse under Sharia law, and at the same time marry and obtain a spouse visa for another foreign woman whom he can then legally marry in Britain."

I've long felt that one reason why we are currently having problems with Muslims is that their religion allows the men to have up to four wives at one time.
Obviously, any man that attempts to live with four wives would be driven insane in a relatively short period of time. We are having to deal with a whole society of men who have lost all sanity and self control.
Do I need to say more?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Incorruptible Bernadette Soubirous.

Today is the 150th anniversary of the Virgin Mary appearing to Bernadette Soubirous in a grotto of Massabielle outside Lourdes, France.

Most people are familiar to some degree, to the story of the apparitions....several movies based on Bernadette's story have been made over the years.
What isn't so widely known is that after her death, Bernadette's body remained "incorruptible", and is on display in Nevers, France.

The church exhumed the body of Bernadette Soubirous on September 2, 1909, in the presence of two doctors, and a sister of the community where Bernadette had been a nun.. They found that although the crucifix in her hand and the rosary had both oxidized, her body was preserved from decomposition.Nuns washed and re-clothed her body and she was reburied in a new casket.
The church exhumed the corpse a second time on April 3, 1919. The body still appeared preserved.

In 1925, the church exhumed the body for a third and final time.The remains were then placed in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette in Nevers. The site is visited by many pilgrims and the body of Saint Bernadette to this day remains intact nearly 129 years after Bernadette's death.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Romney Quits Race.

Looks like I'll never make it as a Political fortune teller.
In an entry from November 15 I predicted that Mitt Romney would be the next President of the United States. It's certain now that McCain will be the Republican nominee. There isn't much need for me to comment on that. I've said enough already.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Dies.

I was driving around town yesterday morning-paying bills-when I heard on the radio that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had died in Holland at the age of 91.
He was the founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement. He was made famous in the late 1960's when the Beatles and a crowd of other celebrities became his pupils.
I studied TM myself in the mid 70's. I drifted away from the movement when I realized that the TM technique was essentially no different then the meditation techniques taught in several disciplines and there was no need to pay to learn to meditate.The technique is pretty much the same as the one described in the Bhagavad Gita and The Cloud of the Unknowing.
On the plus side, I'd say that he was very influential in making meditation more commonplace in the West. But, on the negative side, he amassed a vast fortune and most of what he taught should have been given away for free.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ash Wednesday.

I took a vacation day from work today.
I want to attend Mass with my wife today; I could have gone without her at noon and gone on in to work this evening, but I wanted to attend the Ash Wednesday Mass as a family.
I actually look forward to Lent......I feel enlivened by the sacrifices and penance.
I'd like to continue the meatless Fridays after Easter. I only recently learned that we're still required to do penance on every Friday of the year.....the easing of the "no meat on Friday" regulation did not eliminate the penitential requirement. If we're going to eat meat on Friday, we are supposed to do a different penance in place of it.

I'll strive to do the Rosary every evening before bed and if the church's schedule allows it, Communion every day during Lent.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super / Shrove Tuesday.

Today is Super Tuesday when 21 states hold either a primary or caucus to choose the candidates for President.
Georgia has advance voting; I cast my ballot last week.
Today is also, coincidentally, Shrove Tuesday. So, any entry tomorrow will more likely be about Ash Wednesday and not the results of today's race.

Iranian sisters face stoning for adultry.

From a breitbart.com/article:

"Two Iranian sisters convicted of adultery face being stoned to death after the supreme court upheld the death sentences against them, the Etemad newspaper Monday quoted their lawyer as saying.
The two were found guilty of adultery -- a capital crime in Islamic Iran -- after the husband of one sister presented video evidence showing them in the company of other men while he was away."

Let's, again, compare the Islamic world view with the Christian one.
From John Chapter 8

" Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them.
Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle.
They said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.
Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?"
They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.
But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.
And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.
Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more."

How can anyone continue to blame the United States for the hatred the Islamofascists have for us? How can you continue to believe that we are the perpetrators of evil?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Blessed are the Pure in Heart......

Yesterday's Gospel reading during Mass was Matthew 5: 1-12 which contains Christ's sermon commonly referred to as the Beatitudes;

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

The Beatitudes are considered by many to be the essence of Christian teaching. I know I haven't managed to live up to these teachings as I should, although I recognize this as the goal.
I can't help but contrast this ideal we Christians have with the recent demonstration of how a number of Moslems view the world.... and what they have in store for us.

Consider these headlines;
Mentally retarded women used in Bombings.
Women tricked into suicide blasts.
The Unthinkable: Down Syndrome Women Used as Suicide Bombers

Associated Press reports;
"Remote-controlled explosives strapped to two mentally retarded women detonated in a coordinated attack on Baghdad pet bazaars Friday, Iraqi officials said, killing at least 73 people in the deadliest day since the U.S. sent 30,000 extra troops to the capital last spring."

Sunni Moslems strapped bombs onto 2 women with Down Syndrome in order to terrorize Shiite Moslems on the Moslem sabbath. Is there any further doubt that we are dealing with savages who are not interested in peace ? They have no respect for human life and we, as "infidels", will receive no mercy.

So, go ahead....choose your Presidential candidate based on his or her race or gender and not on his or her qualifications.
Go ahead....pick your candidate according to the world view you developed in High School.
Go ahead......spend your time voting for the next American Idol or spend your time drinking gallons of beer while watching the Super Bowl.

I've heard it said that people, when all is said and done, get the government they deserve.
It's obvious that we don't deserve much.