Friday, February 17, 2006

On Private Web Site, Wal-Mart Chief Talks Tough - New York Times

Is your boss this unguarded? I doubt it. Seems pretty damned healthy to me.

Farting Preacher 5 (a) - Google Video

There's a need to lighten up here at NVCM. The link above ought to do it. (Please don't attack my embassy if you are offended.)

Standards and the priesthood

Commenting on my post, Robinson acknowledges alcoholism, enters rehab Scott of Hybla says
So the 'first openly gay' bishop is held to a different standard than your run-of-the-mill straight bishop? Either way, I can appreciate the Bishop's recent disclosure as encouragement to the alcoholics among us, gay or straight.
He's right of course. Fear of the consequences of disclosure compounds the problem of alcoholism in the priesthood. It also causes those of us know priests with vices - whether we are their bishop and their friends - to participate in a conspiracy of silence. I might understand the fear of disclosure (but not the lack of guts to do so anyway; see next para) in the case of a pedophile or a womanizer. But I truly believe that when it comes to alcohol or drug abuse we in the pews are more than happy to support rehab and a full return to the work of an ordained member of the church.* If Bishop Robinson suffers any consequences due to his revelation it won't be because he disclosed, but because there is at least the appearance of playing games with the timing of the disclosure.

And where does that silence lead? It leads to bishops shipping problem priests off to defenseless Native American congregations. Or to the priest being told to go find a congregation in another diocese - where the cycle of womanizing or whatever it may be continues. Even the alcoholic is a victim - most of us know of priests and bishops who would have been a lot better off if someone had blown the whistle. When will it all stop? When someone has the guts to speak out.

Bishop Robinson's closest supporters knew of his problems. But it was inconvenient to point them out when the only end was to bust down the barrier to openly gay priests serving as bishops. It was all strategic. They knew that once there was an openly gay bishop those of us who preferred a more deliberate approach would have no moral alternative but to support Robinson. It's pretty sick manipulation when you think about it.

*On this point, the treatment of the story at Titus One Nine may be an example - report, no commentary and comments were not open. Of course it could be a reflection of the notion that when the other side is self destructing your side gains most by not piling on.

Science undermines faith :: KTLA

A few years ago, Loayza said, his faith was shaken and his identity stripped away by DNA evidence showing that the ancestors of American natives came from Asia, not the Middle East."I've gone through stages," he said. "Absolutely denial. Utter amazement and surprise. Anger and bitterness."

For Mormons, the lack of discernible Hebrew blood in Native Americans is no minor collision between faith and science. It burrows into the historical foundations of the Book of Mormon, a 175-year-old transcription that the church regards as literal and without error.

For those outside the faith, the depth of the church's dilemma can be explained this way: Imagine if DNA evidence revealed that the Pilgrims didn't sail from Europe to escape religious persecution but rather were part of a migration from Iceland — and that U.S. history books were wrong.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Shirk (polytheism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When the Qur'an describes shirk it frequently seems to be referring to and disparaging the Christian dogma of the divinity of Jesus (4:171). . . . In a theological context one commits shirk by associating some lesser being with Allah. This sin is committed if one imagines that there is some other spirit than Allah whom it is suitable to worship. . . . The limits of the concept of worship are quite elastic and theologians often describe excessive veneration of some artifact here on earth as shirk.
It's not easy to say who is a shirker and who is not. I'd say these people crossed the line.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Robinson acknowledges alcoholism, enters rehab ::

Gene, an honest man would have said, "I have this problem with alcohol."

Would have, as in your application to become the first openly gay bishop in The Episcopal Church. Because, like, it makes a difference. A big difference.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Christian Idol to be next knockoff of American Idol

Is that redundant or an oxymoron?

Da Vinci Code silver lining

Rather than lashing out about its portrayal in the Da Vinci Code, Opus Dei makes something positive out of it.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Globe declares religion no ridicule zone

Okay, Boston Globe, you've made your point. Does this mean it's not okay to ridicule Bush anymore for consulting with God about important matters of state?

No? Okay, I didn't think so.

Where's my Lurpak? :: Adventures in Dubai

Quote: "the association with terrorism is now so strong that I do not know what would make it go away - but certainly not more terror."