Monday, March 20, 2006

The Monday Tour 3/20/06

Usually I do not post Street Prophets or Brain Cramps posts here because, well - I write a lot in both. At Street Prophets is a great post by a Buddhist (well, I think Christian but Shakti won't agree) on "Surrendering Disbelief to Practice Forgiveness". I posted this quote at Debunking Christianity linked below that pertains to the Forgiveness thread - and I do not want to stick it in at comment #52. C.S. Lewis:

my self-love makes me think myself nice, but thinking myself nice is not why I love myself. So loving my, enemies does not apparently mean thinking them nice either. That is an enormous relief. For a good many people imagine that forgiving your enemies means making out that they are really not such bad fellows after all, when it is quite plain that they are. Go a step further. In my most clear-sighted moments not only do I not think myself a nice man, but I know that I am a very nasty one. I can look at some of the things I have done with horror and loathing. So apparently I am allowed to loathe and hate some of the things my enemies do. Now that I come to think of it, I remember Christian teachers telling me long ago that I must hate a bad man's actions, but not hate the bad man: or, as they would say, hate the sin but not the sinner.

For a long time I used to think this a silly, straw-splitting distinction: how could you hate what a man did and not hate the man? But years later it occurred to me that there was one man to whom I had been doing this all my life - namely myself. However much I might dislike my own cowardice or conceit or greed, I went on loving myself. There had never been the slightest difficulty about it. In fact the very reason why I hated the things was that I loved the man. Just because I loved myself, I was sorry to find that I was the sort of man who did those things. Consequently, Christianity does not want us to reduce by one atom the hatred we feel for cruelty and treachery. We ought to hate them. Not one word of what we have said about them needs to be unsaid. But it does want us to hate them in the same way in which we hate things in ourselves: being sorry that the man should have done such things, and hoping, if it is anyway possible, that somehow, sometime, somewhere he can be cured and made human again.
Bonnie found a post at Jolly Blogger on
"The Essence of American Religion" and commented on it at Intellectuelle
" saying that the essence of American religion is the belief that God loves me, this would go a long way to explaining the state of American Christianity. In a country where so many claim to be Christians, maybe its the case that most of those believe in a God who is only half a god, or one quarter, or one tenth of a God. To believe in a God of love, without believing a God who is also holy, righteous, omnipotent, merciful, wrathful, omnicient, etc., is to believe in a dimunitive god. Thus we have a diminutive Christianity - a Christianity adhered to by millions yet which is grows more and more irrelevant in our day..." (David Wayne at Jolly Blogger as quoted at Intellectuelle)
At her own blog. Bonnie gives you some questions you can ask yourself as you contemplate your life and your faith (in case you do not have enough). The first one:
  • How much of what we think (or say) we are doing in the name of the Lord are we really doing from either a mistaken sense of calling or justification of sin?
Last week I linked Lexie's
"Pro-Choice...Pre-S~x". This week the insight she got from Psalm 11 in "Pro-Choice...Pre-S*x: p. 2"
Again, I found this discussion interesting enough to participate in, so I might as well throw it onto the list.
Debunking Christianity will not go in my list of things to check frequently (or at all - I am trying to quit :-) ) - but I did go to "WWJD?" and participate quite a bit. I am almost ashamed that I did so because Tyler at Habakkuk's yelled "Hey, JCHFleetguy!" at me and one of the comments at Habukkuks said:
JCHFleetguy is right, however, not to visit them. He really needs to make arguments which rest on a mutually accepted authority, and they have no authorities in common with him.
Ah, what I will not do when my ego is challenged. Frankly, the post I was in was on the level of "Can God make a rock He cannot lift?". I "should have said" (why do we do that?) read these 6 books and come back with a bit higher level apology for atheism. Oh well.
"And on a lighter (nontheological) note" my wife and I got a real kick out of the site linked here.
Everything posted at
Iraq the Model this week is worth reading if you want to more deeply understand the situation on the ground there.
Jesus Creed has
"Emerging Peter: Slavery 1":
So, in today’s post I want to offer an experimental reading. Only after such a reading will I turn to a more traditional look at the text. I will offer a “reading of the oppressed.”
"You mean Biblically-styled marriages work? Shocking!"
Teresa at Spitting Into the Wind comes up with a theme post. One of the themes from Debunking Christianity above is the Virgin Birth as impossible because a sperm "is necessary" and that it was rape by God anyway. Teresa quotes an essay by "my man" C.S. Lewis in
"Science and Religion" that deals with half that.
Hey, here is how you separate church and state the old fashioned German way:
Ban the Koran. (HT: Sun Comprehending Glass)
Leave it to Joe Carter to let the conservative cat-out-of-the-bag and
demand his cheap gas. You just cannot trust bloggers to keep a secret.
linking and commenting on Joe Carter's "sage wisdom" on "Soul Mates and Manly Men" "sage wisdom"; Jan lets the cat-out-of-the-bag on why "We Go Together".

I have to go round up some cats. Next week.

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How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
1. The Golden Rule
2. You cannot read minds
3. People are not evil
4. Debates are not for winning
5. You make mistakes
6. Not everyone cares as much as you
7. Engaging is hard work
8. Differences can be subtle
9. Give up quietly