Mary Ann Glendon writes
"This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops’ express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions “should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles” and that such persons “should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”"
One is left wondering: Who then *can* Catholic Institutions honor?
Monday, April 27, 2009
Mary Ann Glendon writes
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Bono asks "It's 2009: Do you know where your soul is"
We used to say that all we wanted for the rest of the world was what we had for ourselves. Then we found out that if every living soul on the planet had a fridge and a house and an S.U.V., we would choke on our own exhaust.
and Vanessa Ho writes "Church won't host homeless shelter that doesn't do sex offender checks"
Homeless legal secretary Hendel, who has a bad back and depression, said "Our hopes were so high. But that's life."
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 11:30 PM
Thursday, April 16, 2009
(The following really happened.)
Years ago, I used to be a Christian and was rather involved in a little Baptist church in the Seattle area. One of the activities church members participated in was door to door canvassing--er, that is, witnessing.
My two friends Mark the older and Mark the younger were out one Saturday morning knocking on doors, asking people's permission to tell them about Jesus. One of the houses they went to belonged to an older lady, who invited them in and asked them to sit down in her living room. Mark the older proceeded to engage in conversation with the lady, while Mark the younger sat at the end of the couch, mostly remaining quiet and (theoretically at least) praying.
While he was praying, Mark the younger noticed a bowl of peanuts sitting on the end table, and thought to himself that it wouldn't hurt to eat one. So he did. Time passed, as Mark the older continued to converse with the lady to whom they were witnessing. As the time passed, somehow, Mark the younger found himself eating peanut after peanut from the bowl on the end table.
In fact, he ate so many of them that when the time came to leave, he somewhat embarrassedly realized he'd eaten the entire bowl. So, being the honest and gracious Christian that he was, he decided to apologize to the lady of the house for eating all of her peanuts.
"Ma'am, I'm really sorry, but as it happens, I skipped breakfast, and I was a little hungry, and it seems I've eaten your entire bowl of peanuts." he said.
"Oh--no problem at all!", she replied. "I can't eat them, you see, as my teeth are too bad. So I just suck off the candy coating, and then stick them in that bowl."
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 2:09 PM
In case you haven't seen this. Love the song, and loved this iteration of it. Go Susan! Hope she wins it =)
The Shining Four (You know who you are) used to have a thing with this song, and dancing on the tigers in stocking feet, in the main meeting room. Here's to the deaths of tigers of the sort mentioned in this song--Shere Kahn and his ilk
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 1:03 AM
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Individually, they are ok. Somehow the aggregate of them makes me cringe. Hmmmmm.
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 11:12 PM
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The recent saga in which Somali pirates attempted (and failed) to hijack a cargo ship with a U.S. crew, and then took the captain hostage, and then got killed by U.S. navy snipers *almost* brings me back to the days when I proudly said the pledge of allegiance, hand over heart, and bought into my father's heartfelt solution for solving international crises: "Nuke 'em 'til they glow."
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 12:31 AM
Sunday, April 12, 2009
via Helen at practicing church, from Wright's book "Jesus, the Final Days: What really happened"
[T]he Gospels never say anything like, “Jesus is raised, therefore there is a life after death” (not that many first-century Jews doubted that there was); or, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall go to heaven when we die” (most people believed something like that anyway); or better, “Jesus is raised, therefore we shall be raised at the last.”
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 5:15 PM
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
As you may or may not know, my lovely bride and I are ever so loosely associated with Union Church Seattle.
My good friend John ever so gently called me tonight on the question of "who benefits?" when I do what I often tend to do, which is moan and complain. It's a good question. Truth is, not a whole lot of benefit often accrues. Today I saw a web site where a whole bunch of people were lengthily (gotta love that "g" in "lengthily") and strenuously criticizing Rick Warren for being a bit over the top in promoting himself and his church. My reaction to all that complaining was to wonder what all the commenters were doing along the lines of some of the really kewl social justice stuff Rick and Saddleback are doing.
I reminded of this reaction after John's question tonight. Recently I applied for a position with City of Seattle's Downtown Emergency Services Center, which is doing a lot of brilliant work with down and out populations like the homeless in Seattle. As I was researching for the position, I ran across the name of a housing project that they run called "Kerner Scott House". I recognized the name of this project because, as it turns out, Union Church people go there once a month on a Sunday to do cleanup, bring meals, and stuff like that.
Truth is, Union Church cancels their Sunday worship service once a month and everybody skips church to go work in various community service projects around Seattle.
That is astoundingly awesome. How many churches do you know who do that? Not many.
Plus, Union has this amazingly rocking person on staff whose name is Renee Notkin, who very recently traded her once-a-month or so turn to preach in to allow this interesting guy named Ron to spend 25 minutes or so telling us his personal story. This very seriously kicks ass, since story very nearly *always* trumps "teaching", in almost every possible way, IMNSHO.
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 10:51 PM
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Pretty much the entire culture in which I am immersed is gearing up for the biggest week of the church year. Even in relatively unchurched Seattle, it seems to be all "Good Friday" and then Easter.
Dan Allender once asked "What is the most beautiful moment in the history of creation?" To which his answer was "the morning Jesus rose from the grave."
And he went on to say that you can't have that without "Good Friday". He talked about how his two life themes are death and resurrection, death and resurrection.
Must we insist on calling the bad which led to good "good"? It's a stupid name for the day
Some largish chunk--probably a majority--of the people celebrating Easter on Sunday will do so while "believing" (whatever that means) that some relatively large number of their neighbors (and I mean neighbors in the global, human sense here) are going to go through a lovely little thing called "eternal conscious suffering of the lost".
There will be a lot of talk about "salvation".
On Sunday April 12, also, 180,000 people (or so) will die. Theoretically, according to most Christians, (working off percentages here) the best that a good 120,000 of them can hope for is actual destruction in the lake of fire. But ... I'm pretty sure that "orthodoxy" has it that they will burn forever, fully aware of it.
I don't understand how you can hold "salvation" and "resurrection" and "hope" together in your being with that "reality". Just don't get it.
Also on Sunday, April 12th, at least 20,000 children will die as the termination of their starvation. Yep.
Also on Sunday, April 12th, something like US$2.7 Billion dollars will be spent on arms. Arms as in stuff to blow people up and kill and maim them and destroy their homes. Stuff that's *way* more effective that crosses.
On Sunday April 12th, claims will be made, in churches around the world, about resurrection, salvation, and hope--claims which seem to me to be far bigger than can possibly meet up with reality.
Feels like the world will still mostly be stuck in Black Friday, while all the Christians celebrate Easter.
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 10:34 PM
Monday, April 06, 2009
Friday, April 03, 2009
Recently I went to church and the preacher repeated a line that I've heard before. He said that God doesn't see us when he looks at us, but rather, "he" sees Jesus. The preacher made this clear by calling out the names of a couple audience members (whom i didn't know) and saying "So when God sees you ______, "he" doesn't see you, but rather he sees Jesus"
This seems in line with something Mark Driscoll said
You have been told that God is a loving, gracious, merciful, kind, compassionate, wonderful, and good sky fairy who runs a day care in the sky and has a bucket of suckers for everyone because we're all good people. That is a lie... God looks down and says 'I hate you, you are my enemy, and I will crush you,' and we say that is deserved, right and just, and then God says 'Because of Jesus I will love you and forgive you.' This is a miracle.
I don't really do the God thing so much anymore, so at one level I guess it doesn't matter. But I can't really see having much of a relationship with a god like this. I want the people I'm in relationship with to see *me*, not to pretend they like me by casting some sort of facade over me. In fact that's one of the points of relationship. If I were to do the god thing, I'd choose a god who wanted to see me.
Is this a sort of ... main or major tenet of ... "orthodox Christianity"? I mean do the Catholics belief this thing? My sense is that it's "reformed".
Do most of the people in the congregation I was at recently actually believe this? Feel like "God" is some angry fellow whose wrath must be propitiated by the death of his son, and then "he" can only look at them with a Jesus mask on them? Surely not? Maybe so? Maybe I should ask some of them.
Posted by Benjamin Ady at 12:07 AM