And Another Thing…

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Things I Don’t Think We Should Care About: The President’s Church

Christianity Today and Time both rushed to report that the President and his family have selected a church at which they plan to identify themselves as members. However, it appears that they may have spoken too soon.

And I submit to you: how important is this to anyone’s faith, or lack thereof?

So why am I even writing about it? Because people evidently think that this constitutes news. What’s more, some atheists are chortling over this as though it lends further credence to their meme (which apparently some of them really need to hold on to) that Obama is a closet atheist. If you don’t believe me, check out the Obama tag over at Friendly Atheist. I defy you to find at least one comment thread where some idiot doesn’t suggest that Obama pandered to all the slope-browed, mouth-breathing believers in order to be elected.  (FA is also the same site which gleefully informs us that a member of ABBA is an outspoken atheist. I guess if a member of a mediocre 70s vocal band doesn’t believe in God, well, the faith is sunk).

Until proven otherwise, I will maintain my default position that the god of all politicians, regardless of party allegiance, is power. Their only sacrament is approval ratings and their only holy day is the first one of their next term. I don’t need a pastor-in-chief to believe, and you don’t either.

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Filed under: Faith and Religion, Politics, Rants, , , , , , , , , ,

While I Was Out

I got caught up on a couple of things at my internship and the instructor for the only class I am taking cancelled one of our major assignments, so here I am. What’s more, hundreds many a handful a couple of my beloved readers have written to ask when I plan to return, so here I find myself. What did I miss? Well: This twitter thing has caught on something fierce, a development which I absolutely did not expect. I won’t be taking this up, however. I can’t imagine that my life is that interesting minute by minute, even to me. I’m sure that I missed blogging on some other things, but for the life of me I can’t think of them right now. Consider this an invitation to do an open thread in the comments.

Books

I recently finished Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler. I think whether or not this book is for you will depend on your response to the title, because it delivers exactly what the title promises: an action-packed post-apocalyptic satire set in a future US where the most powerful business, bordering on a fiefdom, is a strip bar franchise. The humor is dark but the characters are endearing. Right now I am reading L.A. Outlaws by T. Jefferson Parker. So far, it is a good read with an interesting plot and believable characters. More after I finish it (maybe).

 TV

Battlestar Galactica came to its eagerly anticipated ending, and the results were interesting: neither the GREATEST ENDING OF ALL TIME as some critics have trumpeted nor a complete failure as other critics insist. Spoilers below:

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Books, Faith and Religion, Geek Stuff, Movies, Music, Politics, School, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s over! It’s over! Woo-hoo!

My two cents on the election:

My title is sincere. I have known for the past 10 months that I would be happier about the end of the election than about whoever won it.

Within 50 years of the civil rights movement, we have seen a black man win a presidential election. There is something undeniably wonderful about that.

The next person who whines in my presence about having to wait in line to vote is going to get a punch in the throat. Millions of people around the world live in Third World toilets where any clown with enough men and guns can declare himself “President for Life”. What do you think citizens of such a country would endure to have a vote? How dare any American gripe about minor inconveniences when so many people risk their livelihoods and lives to cast a vote, or don’t get to vote at all?

McCain delivered a classy, humble, and moving concession speech. This is the John McCain that everybody loved in 2000. Where has he been for the past two years? I hope that he will have the opportunity to rehabilitate his image and reputation before he retires.

Is it just me, or did McCain actually look relieved and Obama somewhat solemn? I wonder if Obama is starting to think “What have I gotten myself into?” I sure would if I were him.

Jesse Jackson, that ambulance chaser of American race-relations, was there last night, his eyes red and moist. I wonder if he was crying from joy or because he knows that he could never have had the moment that Obama is having?

Brian Williams is okay, but I didn’t realize what a big hole Tim Russert’s passing left until last night.

If your candidate won: proceed with caution. Don’t put too much trust in any leader.

If your candidate lost: take a breath. The future is not nearly as bad as you expect.

Finally, this article, which aptly expresses how I and many other believers have felt about this election.

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , ,

Quick Hits – Summer Lovin’ Edition

If you read and/or commented on my last post, please see the update.

                   

This past weekend was chaos; controlled chaos to be certain, but chaos nonetheless. Friday evening and Saturday afternoon were initially set aside so that I could officiate at some friends’ wedding. Always an honor to be asked to fill such a role on a day that the bride and groom will remember for the rest of their lives. However, the bride and groom called it off. I don’t know why, nor do I want to know. However, I stand by the contention that a broken engagement is better than a broken marriage.

So, granted some serendipitous free time on Friday, I had a guys night: Famous Dave’s and some cheap cigars on my friend Matt’s back porch. A pleasant, relaxing evening with people I just don’t get to see that often.

Saturday, Christine and I cleaned the homestead in anticipation of her parents’ passing through on their return from attending their grandson’s elementary school graduation in Virginia Beach. We had a nice (albeit short) visit with them. I count myself truly fortunate to have in-laws that I like and who seem to like me.

Sunday afternoon my brother and his girlfriend came up from Staunton to celebrate his birthday and her graduation (Master in Counseling from James Madison University…congrats, Jenny). We took them to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood at Nissan Pavilion. I had heard several trusted sources expound on what a great show Tom Petty puts on, and he lives up to the hype. He and the band burned through their classics and even provided a treat for me and my brother by playing one of our favorite songs (but not one of Petty’s biggest hits) “Rebels” from the 1985 album Southern Accents. They even threw in a Bo Diddley tribute during the encore.

Steve Winwood put on a great show as well, concentrating on blues covers and his classics from the number of groups he has been a member of. He also demonstrated a proficiency with the guitar that I was unaware of. The highlight of the show (for me, at least) was when he returned to the stage during the Heartbreakers’ set to perform “Gimme Some Lovin’” possibly the most popular song he ever wrote and his biggest hit with the Spencer Davis Group.

Of course, since we were at a major concert venue, there were the requisite drunken and/or stoned douchebags who had to carry on, yell inappropriate things, and vomit on the sidewalk. Otherwise, a good time was had by all.

Monday Christine took the day off and we had a nice quiet day of just us, thank you very much. Monday night I met some of my classmates for dinner (Christine was in her art class). It was good to see everyone without the pressure of Dr. Sunshine hanging over our heads. At least two of my classmates are planning to move soon; one to New York and one to North Carolina. I am surprised that I made good enough friends in graduate school that this saddens me.

                   

I don’t know who I am going to vote for. McCain, who once appeared (to me, at least) to be a man of principle, has pretty much become a waterboy for the worst elements of the Republican Party. How he can even stand to be in the same room as Dubya without spitting in Dubya’s face for slandering him in 2000 is beyond me. None of this takes away from McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War, but it does make me question his ability to lead our country.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to promise Utopia. That would be nice, but I really want to know how he plans to achieve this. I hope that the change and progress he is promising won’t be built on the backs of working people, the way most things are done now.

                   

Way back in January I made the admittedly safe prediction that all of the candidates would attempt to outdo each other in displays of religiosity. What I did not predict is how bad they would be at it. McCain managed to pick one of the most polarizing, end-times obsessed wingnuts as his spiritual adviser. As for Obama, well, we all know how that one turned out. Meanwhile, atheist bloggers are practically  crapping themselves over the idea that Obama may be a closet atheist or agnostic; yet they approve of his “pandering” to all us gap-toothed, subliterate religious folk in order to get our votes.

I honestly don’t care; I gave up on politicians reflecting Christian values a long time ago. Some may have been committed to the faith when they started out, but the compromises necessary in the pursuit of power have to wear their commitment down eventually. Considering the things that Jesus had to say about power and wealth (and I defy anyone to show me a politician who isn’t wealthy) I find it highly unlikely that any serious contender for the office of president is still devoting their utmost to his highest. I think the best that we can hope for is the person who lies the least. I will be happy if I am proven wrong, though.

Regardless, is it wrong to say how happy I am that Hillary is out of it? Close your eyes and say it with me kids: “No more Bushes, no more Clintons, no more Kennedys”

                   

Mystery quote:

“If you didn’t want him dead, why did you leave him with me?”

 

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