Thursday, October 13, 2011

2012 Presidential Qualification Question

Politics sorely disgusts me. That used to not be the case as I enjoyed the sparring, discussion and learning. Now, not so much. The reason is that discussion and learning have taken a back seat to the campaign of character assassination and presenting half truth (or sometimes, not even truth at all).

Of course, we've seen all this before. It is nothing new. Still, it is "new" to me in the sense that I really believed some of the people I personally knew were above that. They weren't.

So I'm a bit jaded. Ok. Very jaded.

There is an interesting read by Bruce Gourley in the Baptist Studies Bulletin, Oct. 2011 concerning the current kerfuffle over Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. It is a good analysis.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"Time for Outrage" by Stephane Hessel

Stephane Hessel is a hero --- a French Resistance leader in WW 2. And no he has written a book, Time for Outrage, and has managed to tick off a lot of people. Why? Because he has sold 2 million copies in France and his book is now in 30 languages and is just now released in the US. (Actually, it is a pamplet but here is the Amazon Link.)

Hessel, at age 94, is still fighting and encouraging others to do the same. The difference is that instead of fighting against the Nazi Regime, Hessel is calling for fighters to rise up against injustice. Of course, injustice is a broad term and is often quite arbitrary.

Some injustice is easy to spot: racism; bigotry; and crime. Or is it? What about corporations that legally (though not ethically) take land from average citizens? What about governments that use the taxpayer to fund legal actions against everyday citizens who stand up to fight against corruption? What about protesters who stand up for the least among us, while corporations and politicians ignore the plight of the weak and powerless regarding health care? What about parents who stand up against the educational system that promotes mediocrity while ignoring the needs of the handicapped or gifted? What about citizens who stand up for the right of minority faiths when the majority taxpayer wants his religion to get preferential treatment by the government?

Sadly, those sort of injustices are seen as political actions by the left instead of what they really are --- injustices on the weakest citizens by the power, influence and money of the majority. What should be a call for justice is marginalized by the political majority.

Jesus was treated no differently. Why should we be surprised today when it happens again?

This inspires met. (NPR Link.)

"If you want to be a real human being — a real woman, a real man — you cannot tolerate things which put you to indignation, to outrage," he says. "You must stand up. I always say to people, 'Look around; look at what makes you unhappy, what makes you furious, and then engage yourself in some action.'"