Sunday, April 29, 2007

I think I'm going to give up on It used to be a really interesting source of articles and forums about different religion but lately it's gotten away from that. There's a lot more current events on there now, and not necessarily anything that I can use. Perhaps a lot of other people can, and more power to them. They know what picante sauce tastes like.

Recently, actually a couple of days after the fact, they published an article by David Kuo who stated that it was reasonable to believe the Cho Sueng-Hui was possessed by a demon(s). Before someone gets all metaphorical and argues that we all have demons (which is a different conversation), he was saying Cho was actually possess by demons. The only basis he uses for this is that sometimes people get possessed by demons and Mother Theresa was possessed by a demon one time and he had the link from to prove it with some dude saying they performed the exorcism. No evidence, no logical argument, nothing. Just hearsay from and an extraordinary belief.

It's not up to the nonbeliever to reconcile himself to the same conclusion as the believer. It's up to the believer to prove his or her case. He or She should be willing and able to explain what is meant by the statement. That's the way conversations, debates, and such work. Have you ever heard the response "pray about it" or "read the Bible" to the question "what do you mean?" Is this a real answer?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It is Time

As I sat here in front of the computer before our contemporary worship service, I saw article and headline ad nausea about the murders on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute campus. Per the website, several delegations of church leaders have spoken out against a gun culture run rampant. Is that the problem?

I've heard several pro-gun advocates state that if one of the victims possibly had a gun, they might have ended this entire tragedy early and possibly saved lives. I suppose it's possible, and it's actually very ho-hum on the weekly advocate for torture-Fox's "24," along with a host of other shows. Yet for whatever strange reason I have a hard time siding with the folks in favor of a shootout in the engineering college. I find the notion that someone will transform into Jack Bauer and save the day about as likely as the possibility of someone using Jedi powers to disarm the gunman. The majority of the victims were 19, 20, and 21 year old college students; they came to class that day to study and take notes. Truly, these are not the droids you're looking for. Furthermore, I feel that this argument is the equivalent of stating that a family killed by a drunk driver would have been saved had they only practiced defensive driving. This logic doesn't just ignore the cause of the problem, it legitimizes the show (and also the propagation) of violence as the responsible answer to one of society's largest problems.

This in light of the fact that someone who was deemed by that same society, "a danger to himself" was allowed to purchase two bona fide Weapons of Mass Destruction. SHAME ON US. We are commanded (not nicely asked, not suggested) by our faith to "love one another as God has loved us." Marcus Borg says that the original translation of love in this sense meant compassion that is/was "womb-like." It stands to reason then that we are commanded by God to do our best to not let people like Cho Seung-Hui sink into the depths of a despair and hatred so dark that they lash out in horrifying ways. We are commanded by God to do our best to alleviate a poverty that creates a mentality that violence is the only solution for the means to survive. We are commanded by God to do our best to rid our culture of the mentality that legitimizes and propagates violence. I think it's time.

However the eternal question is, "What does success in this area look like?"

Friday, April 20, 2007

Since I'm the admin and the only one that posts

I thought I'd shamelessly promote myself. I'm playing a show on May 9th at Duffy's in downtown Lincoln with a couple of new friends. This is a totally secular show that I'm talking about here, although I will be doing a couple of songs that touch on a couple themes I've been thinking about lately that are spiritually related. One is an older song called, "I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling" and the other is one may be one of my own called, "I Hope God Isn't Like My Father." It will depend on whether or not I finish learning/writing them. Anyway, here's the flyer courtesy of my friend Jeff Iwanski:

Should be fun!