Monday, March 27, 2006


You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(13% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Andrea and I have a puppy! The new house that we are moving into allows pets - so we went to the Humane Society on Saturday just to check on a particular dog that Andrea had found on their website and sort of check out the adoption process. Well - you can't go to the Humane Society without leaving with a pet! So...without further adieu..... here is Bartholomew!

He is a retreiver/black lab mix!

His first task was to help me with my laundry!
He has been really good so far - so lets all keep our fingers crossed! He's going to grow up so fast and grow into a pretty big dog - but no worries - you should see him as a puppy soon! I get to bring him to the Lake with me in July! He's going to be a good lake dog, I can already tell. :)

Pictures and Update 2

More fun times in KY... :)
Thanks Kevin...or should I say "Harold" for keeping us girls safe from all the fabulous men at Austin City! ;)
Why are you taking my picture with my camera? This is Jeff's Birthday - the same night I managed to trip up my concrete apartment steps and hurt my knee...almost 6 weeks still hurts....
Andrea and Laura at Cheapside!! Andrea is going to be my roommate in May - we are going to throw some KICK @SS parties at our house starting in July - so be prepared, because... we're a pretty big deal :)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pictures with Update

I know that some of these pictures are fairly old by now - but I haven't put up pictures in a LONG time - so what the heck!

This was seeing the kids over Christmas - I promise Kate was having fun even though it looks like she was trying to escape :)

My pledge daughter Lindsay and I drinking beer and playing pool - sisters from pink tutu's to the Dish to Kappa :)

The original group of girls from HS - we always try to get together when I come home from wherever it is that I've been lately!

Again - Charlie and possibly the cutest nephew on the face of the planet!

I miss my girls!! Can you fathom - it's been at least 9 years!!

30 Hour Famine Pictures

During one of the 30 minute worship services during the Famine we lit 600 candles to represent the 600 children that will die every 30 minutes from hunger related and preventable causes. At the end of the worship service we blew all of those candles out, knowing that what was really represented was a life.

The participants learned what poverty is like here in the States. The kids were given $10 and had to purchase as much food as the could on that $10. However, they couldn't buy 100 packages of Raman Noodles and call it a day - they were required to have all three meals represented in their purchases. The food was then donated to God's Pantry along with the other almost 300 nonperishable items raised during the Famine.

This is the group! There were 28 participants, including adults, from four different DOC Churches!

These are the girls that save me everyday at Seminary and help keep me sane! Kelley and Andrea both joined in the fun on the 30 Hour Famine with their Youth groups.

*None of the adults actually cheated during the 30 Hour Famine* We had just reached the stage of delirium and thought this photo would be funny - not comments from the peanut gallery please :)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Tests and Quizzes of all kinds

Ok, so I know I spend...I mean waste a lot of time on the internet, filling out pointless surveys and taking pointless quizzes, but I know they are all in good fun, so it's no big deal. I ran across this one the other day, and I'm just a bit confused?
How is the internet going to determine this? How is my computer going to help in this manner? Am I supposed to makeout with my floppy drive in hopes that it does the same in return and that it will then give me an answer? Maybe its just me, but its at this point that we are making MySpace a little bit too much of a reality and hiding too much behind our keyboards at this point. What are you going to say, "well I don't care what you think, MySpace Quizzes told me I AM a good kisser!" Like I said, I may spend a lot of time on the internet, hiding behind this reality that I have created on my page. Which yes, it gives me a little more freedom to be who I want to, when I may have formally been to shy or introverted to do so, but this quiz, that's taking things a little too far. On a similar note - I think most of my posts lately have been fairly crass and negative, but then again, I am right in the middle of midterms...blah! I will try to post something positive and possibly some pictures this weekend - because I know I haven't done that in a while.... just AFTER my test on the first 1500 years of Christianity - you know....nothing too big ;)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Preaching in KC

Last weekend I went home for a small portion of my Spring Break - and I preached at Liberty Christian Church, my home congregation. It's always nice to be home, don't get me wrong, but it was really nice to be in service on Sunday morning. Even though I was preaching, what I consider "work" nowadays - I still felt like I was getting a lot of spiritual renewal at both services, which hasn't happened in a little while. In a conversation with a friend of mine, I remarked that lately, "My Bible is no longer a book to which I look for wisdom, inspiration and hope - it's a text book in which I have to read 150 pages a week for the rest of my career. Prayer is an assignment I have to do at the beginning of the class every other Tuesday, I don't go to worship on Sunday mornings anymore, I go to work." Now this comment in particular came from our discussion about the study of religion - that the more I study theology and religion - the more it is becoming less holy. I know that's a double negative or something - but its hard to describe it. The more I study the Bible, the more I realize how many errors there could be, or how our interpretations could be completely off. The more I study Hebrew, the more I realize how it is ABSOLUTELY WITHOUT A DOUBT - the MOST AMBIGUOUS language on the face of the planet - and I'm not kidding. One word can mean eye, spring or well.... what?!!? Or in Greek, on word can mean swift and silver like, or lazy - all at the same time. The more I read, the more I discover that MANY MANY religions have many of the same myths and legends that our First Testament shares - in a different form of course - but all these things, it's hard to see theology as a divine inspiration of faith - and its becoming more an area of careful philosophical study. All I can say is that because of the faith I have grown up with, that I have developed throughout my life, I know that eventually....when I no longer have assignments and when my grades are no long riding on all this, I'm sure I'll "come back around" - but to see the spiritual side of my experience, to feel it again, to know in my heart that this is the one true way - that's getting smaller and smaller.... I guess it's not necessarily that I am questioning that Christianity is right and that I'm going to choose something else - Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam etc etc are all so tainted by the culture and society around them throughout the ages (example - my previous blog about Islam) Christianity shares a lot of these same characteristics and has been tainted by politics and society, just like any other world religion could have... Like I said, I'm sure I'll "come back around" - mainly because I'm willing to bet that every student who's gone through a very academic seminary such as this has experienced something similar.... because if they haven't come back around - then seminary is a big joke and their ripping people off ;) SO no worries - I'll be good - I just have to keep on going! And in the meantime - its great to go home now and again and receive some spiritual renewal!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Are you Kidding me?

I went to Toys R US with my sister and my niece - can we say overstimulation? Regardless - My sister showed me the bike that my parents are getting Kate for her birthday - so we were in the "transportation" section of the store, which inluded the battery operated cars of whatever sorts - the Barbie cars, the Jeeps etc - until I came across this... That's right folks - this is a Barbie "Escalade" - just incase our kids aren't corrupted enough - just incase they don't already have identity issues because they can't define who they are without looking to some sort of materialistic description of who society wants them to be, just incase they (or their parents) aren't already going to be in massive debt because our economy continues to support buying things we don't need on money we don't have - just incase.... let's get them at an early age - and make sure they get hooked on an Escalade when they are 3 - so when they are 23 - they are going to try and buy this luxury piece of crap that is contributing to global warming, the poverty gap and materialistic suicide.... awesome - Kate wants one..... JK - her aunt is going to raise her right! On this same note - I found a fabulous book today that I think everyone should read - it's called "AMERICAN THEOCRACY: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century," In it, Kevin Phillips (no relation) :), a former republican supporter, outlines the way in which, "No longer does he see Republican government as a source of stability and order. Instead, he presents a nightmarish vision of ideological extremism, catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, rampant greed and dangerous shortsightedness." - He used to be a huge Republican supporter, and wrote a book in 1969, "The Emerging Republican Majority", about "the movement of people and resources from the old Northern industrial states into the South and the West (an area he enduringly labeled the "Sun Belt") [that] would produce a new and more conservative Republican majority that would dominate American politics for decades." He originally viewed this optimistically, but now, not so much... I think it would be a good read for republicans and democrats alike....

Friday, March 17, 2006

Inexperienced Men...and all the others that still need help

So I stole this from someone else's post - but WTF - I think its great :)
For all you clueless men - and tips for you on women...
1. Whatever you do, don't just show up at their house...they run around in their underwear just like we do.
2. DON'T CHEAT ON THEM. It may seem foolproof, but girls tell each other everything about everything. Trust me, they WILL find out and you will be mud.
3. Beware of every single male relative and all guy friends. Any of them would kick your ass at the drop of a hat, and a lot of them wouldn't even wait for the damn hat.
4. NEVER miss an opportunity to tell them they're beautiful.
5. DON'T refuse to kiss in front of your friends. If they laugh at you, it's because they're jealous.
6. If they slap you hard, you deserved it.
7. Don't be afraid to touch them if you want to. If they're going out with you in the first place, it's because they like being in your arms.
8. If you don't sleep with them, DO NOT tell your friends that you did.
8 1/2. If you DO sleep with them, DO NOT tell your friends that you did.
9. You can be dirty minded in private, really...most of them are not offended by it, and some enjoy it too - just do it in private...
10. Not all of them eat like birds, a lot of them can eat like whales.
10 1/2. If they do eat like birds - it doesn't mean they're on a diet - and especially not for you...
11. Most of them don't mind paying half of everything, but they do discuss these things with their friends. Realize that if you make your girlfriend pay half ALL the time, everyone will know about it and your friends will know you're a pussy..
11 1/2. Do you honestly need all your money that much? Be a man, pay ALL the time!
12. Every girl should eventually get three things from her boyfriend- a stuffed animal, ONE OF HIS SWEATSHIRTS, and a really PRETTY RING. Even if it's not a serious relationship.
13. Make sure she gets home safely as often as you can. If you're dropping her off, walk her to the door. If you aren't dropping her off, call to be sure she's home safely.
14. If a guy is BOTHERING her, it is your right to beat the shit out of him. (Make sure not to confuse this with the men from #3)
15. If you're talking to a female friend of yours, PULL YOUR girlfriend closer.
16. NEVER, ever slap her, even if it's just in a joking way. Even if she swats you first, and says, "Oh, you're so dumb" or something, never make any gestures back.
17. Go to a chick flick once in a while. She doesn't care whether you enjoy it or not, it just matters that you went.
18. You're dead meat if you can't get along with their pets, parents, and best friends. Be prince charming to their friends, Mr. Polite to their parents, and make sure to be nice to their animals.
19. Don't flirt with their moms...that's just freaky. Or their sisters - that's just bad.
20. Don't be freaked out by PMS. It's not gross, and it really does make them feel like shit, so be understanding.
21. If you don't like the way they drive, you do it.
22. If you're officially dating, and you're introducing her to your friends, you'd better damn well introduce her as your girlfriend.
23. Don't stress where you go for every date. They really only want to be with you - even if its in sweatpants on the couch.
24. If they complain that something hurts, rub it for them without being asked.
25. Girls are fragile. Even if you're play fighting/wrestling, be very gentle.
26. Memorize their damn birthdays. You forget her birthday and you're basically screwed for life.
27. Don't marinade the cologne, but smell good.
28. Don't give her something stupid for her birthday or Christmas or Valentine's day. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it has to be meaningful - and you have to remember.
29. If you think the relationship isn't going to last, DON'T WAIT to find out. It will only hurt her more if you draw it out. Honesty really is the best in this situation.
30. After you've been dating for a while, realize that they really have started to trust you. When you have a girlfriend who truly trusts you, you have a lot more responsibility, privilege and control than you would think. Be careful with it, most guys would kill for that kind of power...but it can be lost in a nanosecond.

Thursday, March 16, 2006


" 'Let us be able to lose gracefully and to win courteously; to accept criticism as well as praise; and to appreciate the attitude of the other [player] at all times.' That timeless advice was offered by James Naismith, a young gym instructor for the Young Men's Christian Association in Springfield, Massachusetts, who invented the sport known as basketball in 1891 – He had no idea what he had started. With March comes "March Madness," the annual festival of obsession with the round ball. The tournament began in 1939 with eight teams playing in a single elimination format. Now, the twenty-day tournament includes sixty-five teams. Basketball fans know that putting the entire season on the line for a single elimination tournament is itself a form of madness – but they glory in it. Basketball may have started with peach baskets nailed to opposing ends of an old gym, but the sport is now big business and a major cultural event. The annual NCAA tournament makes and breaks teams, players, coaches, athletic directors, and even university presidents. There is a lot more than pride riding on that bouncing ball. For players, the tournament is not likely to be a repeat experience. Those whose teams make it to the Final Four – and especially those whose teams win the championship – look back on the Big Dance as the moment of lifetime achievement. Players on losing teams often feel defeat even more acutely than the winners sense victory. "Every year, when the championship game ends, I find myself looking at the players on the losing team," Jay Bilas, starting center for Duke when it faced Louisville in the 1986 championship game, reflects. "Not the coaches – they'll have other chances – but the players. I know how they feel, especially when it's a close game decided by a play or two at the finish. I know they're going to live with the feeling they've got in their stomachs right then for the rest of their lives. It'll always be there. You can talk all you want about how great your season was, the last memory is the one you carry inside you wherever you go, whatever you do, the rest of your life." Basketball is a contest of athletic ability and brains. The game has been transformed in recent decades, moving to a higher level of athleticism and a higher level of play. A clash of philosophies has often emerged at the Big Dance, with Eastern schools often playing a more traditional game, while schools to the west have pioneered innovations – pushing the game above the rim and stretching the envelope. Now, the tournament is understood to be a display of individual and team talent, of ego and of determination, of valor and of lesser qualities. In a very real sense, the world of big sports brings out the best and worst in the American character. Genuine valor, teamwork, camaraderie, self-sacrifice, and athletic excellence are often demonstrated on and off the court. At the same time, the world of college athletics constantly risks corruption by forces within and without. In any honest analysis, it is increasingly difficult to refer to starting players as "student athletes." You can count on this – the players on the court for the Big Dance weren't chosen for their SAT scores. We can all look to the Big Dance, March Madness, and the entire world of athletics with a mixture of admiration and concern. Athletic endeavor and the contest of sport can bring out the very best and most masculine qualities in young players. There is something noble about the millions of kidsshooting hoops in back yards, dreaming of standing on the court when the Final Four meet in Indianapolis this year. The sacrifice, discipline, teamwork, and excellence demonstrated by so many teams, coaches, and players can be an inspiration. On the other hand, there is something tragic about a society that has so glamorized sport – and has grown so obsessed with victory, that the system is often perverted, lives are often warped, and virtues are too often sacrificed in vain hope of victory. Americans have turned the Big Dance into one of the largest gambling enterprises in the nation's history, with office pools multiplying from coast to coast. We all must know that athletic contest can bring out both the best and the worst in human character. In that sense, we are about to observe a massive morality tale played out in the form of March Madness. So, celebrate the good, root for your team, and learn to discern what is noble, good, and admirable in everything associated with the Big Dance." - Let the Madness begin! :)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Flying Home

Since when did they start telling you how to use the lifevest on airplanes? I don't even remember the inflatable life vest speech when I've traveled abroad and it came to me 4 times while I was flying home and back on Spring break - over all land. I also managed to have the most fabulous gentleman ever sit next to me. The flight was NOT full, I was sitting in the 2nd row in the aisle seat in the row all by myself and this guy decides to sit next to me in the middle seat. WTF? Sit in the aisle seat dude. Ok, gentleman, I know you have some extra baggage in between your legs that prevents you from sitting with your legs all scrunched against one another, but seriously, it can't be THAT big that you have to push your knees into my already midgit sized airplane seat area, especially since the aisle seat was open and available. And no ladies, he wasn't attractive. Believe me, I would have taken advantage of him, er, uh...the situation, if he had been attractive. Because we were so close I got to read not only my peanut package, but his peanut package as well ( no pun intended - haha, I crack myself up) - but seriously, ok, I get it, we have this sue happy economy that wants to sue everyone for not putting proper warnings on packaging and such, but giving me a f*ing break. Do we really need the "Processed and packaged in a plant that contains and handles peanuts" warning on the PEANUT package? OMG! Well I guess if the dumbass McDonalds HOT COFFEE lady can get 2 million - we can sue for anything... come on people, can you just quit being dumbasses? Why does the pilot always feel the need to ramble from the cockpit? They get on the microphone and feel the need to tell us what the weather is at 15,000 feet as if I could open my window and enjoy the air up there. Or the ramble so fast that I don't know what they are talking about, but it's pretty useless information anyway, so your not missing much, other than peace and quiet :) Also, I've decided that advertising is a horrible profession - it is pushing the american public into debt and making us complete idiots. Marketing, is different in my eyes, marketing a product for what it is worth is different than advertising the worst crap the american economy can come up with and convincing the american public that they need something is ridiculous. Why is it htat you've never heard of this product before in your life, or at least you've NEVER even though about buying one, and the minute you open the SkyMall magazine, it jumps out at you as if you have been waiting for it your entire life and you really need it now? For example, the "extended reach insect vaccuum" - OMG if you have a vaccuum to suck up bugs and bugs alone - A) you are a pansy - just scream for your boyfriend or your dad to get rid of it ;) JK - or B) you have entirely too much money and need to give some of it to me. Or my personal favorite, this travel pillow! Who in their right mind would buy this? Does it look easy to carry on and off a plane? And don't you pretty much look like a complete fool? Oh goodness - people will buy ANYTHING these days - let's just all buy travel pillows and go into massive debt - we can consolidate our loans and put another mortgage on the house worries! ;)

Monday, March 13, 2006


Thanks to all sent concerned emails or calls about my arm - it's fine now. After a deep tissue massage and two days of alternating ice and heat, I can successfully get dressed without pain :) Spring Break in seminary, has to be eventful right? ;) Well I have had fun so far, so that's all that matters right? I flew to Kansas City on Saturday and immediately had a full day of lunch, hanging out with friends, dinner and of course drinks with friends out in Liberty... this day was eventful in itself, seeing an ex-boyfriend, seeing my dreamy husband ;), finding out I've been being lied to by someone I trust, but all in all a great day.... I've found out how much I don't care about drama anymore...I'm not going to complain about it and start ranting and raving about it, because then don't I just become part of it? I'm done with it...honesty and simplicity are the way to go people...simple as that. :)
I preached on Sunday at my home church - thanks to all the family and friends who came to hear my preach, I'm glad to know I have a lot of support even if people don't understand why or what I'm doing - but knowing they support me.
I accidently kissed my ex-boyfriend - yes I said accidently... I really didn't intend on doing this, but when he was getting ready to leave, I leaned into hug him and it came to a quick kiss and a hug... odd...hmmm...oh, this was not DURING the worries :)
I hung out with my family on Sunday night...this was probably one of the best times of the weekend at home. We all ate around a really small table, because the kitchen is being remodeled, so make do with the table that's fancy dinner, no TV, waiting out a tornado warning together (yay for ACTUAL severe weather rather than the pretend crap in KY) and did stupid things like played "Heart and Soul" on our piano for probably a good 20 minutes straight watching my nephew dance around the living room - or letting my niece run around the house with my digital camera and take pictures of anyone and everything including the table, the light and the popcorn bowl :)
I know, I know, this is probably the least exciting blog you've ever read in your entire life - but I don't care, I'm just happy with the wonderful time I had at home with family. It's amazing the simplicity you miss when you grow up and what you take for granted...and its amazing how much people don't change while you grow up...staying the same....both for the good and the bad.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Beer's Prayer

Our Lager, Which art in barrels, Hallowed be thy drink, Thy will be drunk, (I will be drunk), At home as in the tavern. Give us this day our foamy head, And forgive us our spillages, As we forgive those who spill against us. And lead us not to incarceration, But deliver us from hangovers, (And Friday staff meetings), For thine is the beer, The Bitter and the lager, Forever and ever, Barmen.

Thanks Emily!!

I'm on my home to KC to preach - call the cell if you want to hang out, I'll be there until Tuesday!


Monday, March 06, 2006


I can't move my left shoulder or arm very well, I feel like someone replaced all the muscles in my back with steel that doesn't move and grinds to an insanely painful halt if you even attempt to. I could barely get a shirt on this morning...we're all lucky I did succeed. Is it possible to sleep in such a wrong position that you can't move when you wake up? I mean, I know I've done damage to my hip problems by sleeping on my hip wrong...damn the spooning...but I seriously haven't felt pain like this in a REALLY long time. I think my neighbors may come over and start knocking on the door because I literally yelled out loud when I tried to roll over and turn the alarm off. I made an appointment to get a deep tissue massage this evening, but I still have to write a sermon, finish 25 translations for Hebrew, read an entire novel and write a 5 page paper today - oh yeah, and go to work with 22 three-year olds and tell them to stop touching, "Miss Laura" because you're hurting her.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


No - I'm not in love - No I'm not dating anyone that should make any of you think I'm in love. No I didn't fall out of love, no I'm not mad at anyone because of love, no there's no drama or actual reason as to why I posted this. I just found this really great saying/quote/paragraph about love and wanted to post it because I know I'VE felt like this before, so I'm sure you all have too...
Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up this whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...
You give them a piece of you. They don't ask for it. But you give it to them anyway. They do something dumb one day like kiss you, or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like "maybe we should just be friends" turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

True Meaning of Religion?

Recently I receive a forward from a friend that I found quite disturbing and wanted to correct what I could. I'm not trying to be rude or condescending towards him or anyone else for that matter, but true religion and true union with God will never be achieved if we continue to spread biased and un-researched claims around the world about one another's religions.

The forward was a powerpoint that started with two slides of text, "An 8 year old child was caught in a market in Iran for stealing bread. In the name of Islam he is being punished. His arm will be crushed by a car. He will loose forever the possibility to use his arm again. Is this a religion of peace and love?" The powerpoint proceeds to show 6 pictures in sequence of this little boy getting his arm crushed and run over by this truck. The final slide is more commentary ending with "Marvelous religion?"

I just want to answer the question, "Is this a religion of peace and love?" YES IT IS - but the administration and executive power that runs rampant in that country is not one of peace and love and THAT is the problem - NOT ISLAM!! That heinous act is not really being done in the name of Islam and religion. They may claim that it is, but Islam DOES NOT condone this sort of behavior anywhere in the Koran. The true meaning of Islam means “peace achieved through submission to God” (The same God that Christians and Jews worship, according to the prophet Mohammed who said himself that this was the same God of the Jews and Christians). The word Islam means surrender or submission and is derived from the same word meaning peace (all in Arabic) – the word Peace in Arabic is Salaam…

However, the problem lies in the inability to separate Islam the religion from the cultural and political rules and regulations that permeate most countries where Islam is the main religion. Islam is all at once a civilization, culture AND a faith. There is NO distinction made between what is secular and what is spiritual. Faith and politics go hand in hand. So in the same way that a damaging voice politically can do damage to the faith, the same can be vice versa in Islam. How many would have accepted the Bible and its teachings if the “KKK” introduced the Bible to them? THE US Government used scripture in the Bible to support the continuation of slavery in this country, just 100 some years ago. In the same way – people misuse scripture in the Koran to create bogus and horrendous laws which allow this type of action towards 8 year old children. And the problem there lies in the fact that administrations in many countries in the middle east are so heavily infiltrated with misunderstandings of the Koran and the true meaning of Islam, that they continue to allow this to happen. It can be hard to for us understand or comprehend this, coming from the US where faith and politics are generally separated. But imagine this – Imagine if our laws were made and governed by how George Bush (or Bill Clinton, or whoever the president is/was) understood the Bible. Our laws, our fiscal policies, our foreign policies, our policies on education, health care – ALL OF IT – would be based off of how George Bush understood the Bible and his own personal theology. Now I KNOW that George Bush is not a Biblical Scholar – heck I know I’m not even close to one, and I’m in seminary to become a minister – so imagine how it is for countries that practice Islam. Their leaders that they elect may have a misunderstood interpretation of the Koran and the faith of Islam – and therefore so does the entire country, because their entire country is permeated with fiscal policies, foreign policies, welfare programs, education systems – all of them with a possible misinterpretation of the faith they are so adamantly defending. I am involved with an organization here in KY that is actually a national organization – called the interfaith alliance – where members of many different religions, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs – 70 faith traditions in all, as well as many Agnostics and Atheists – all work TOGETHER to promote democratic values, defend religious liberty, challenge hatred and religious bigotry (this act of “punishment”) and reinvigorate INFORMED civic participation. The interfaith alliance is the faith based voice countering the radical right (of all religions) and promoting the positive role of religion. I’m not trying to encourage everyone to love Islam – clearly it’s not the faith for me either, I have chosen to follow Christ – but that is based off a theological well researched and thought out decision, not based off of propaganda (from any religion) that has no basis on the true meaning of their religion. My decision and opinion of Islam is based off the true understanding of “Peace achieved through submission to God” – not what the news is trying to portray or what a disturbed civic leader in a middle eastern country is trying to tell me what Islam means.

I ALSO have to add - that underneath the english in this powerpoint, there is a translation of the same thing in another language - although many may confuse the characters of translation to be arabic (out of assumption because of the content of the powerpoint) they are actually Hebrew - there are very few countries, if more than one where Hebrew is actually spoken on a regular basis. That would be Israel. In case you've been under a rock for the last 50 years, there is a major dispute in Israel over the land it was given by the UN from the area of Palestine. My limited education and understanding of that conflict would however lead me to believe though that this was or is some sort of propoganda that is also being passed around Israel. I know the US has traditionally supported Israel in the conflict, and if people, both in the US and in Israel continue to believe that Palestine is horrible because of its religion, Islam - than the cause of Israel and Judaism will continue to look like the better of the two options. This could be looked at as "one point for them" and their ability to so falsely and incorrectly "prove" the problems with violence in Islam. Now don't put words in my mouth and assume that I am "on the side" of the Palestinians - because like I said, I have limited knowledge and understanding of the issues - but I do have enough to identify propoganda supporting a cause. Yeah for my Hebrew classes finally paying off...

Lastly I will just leave you with this quote. "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." -- Steven Weinberg

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Chad & Laura agree on something?!?!

First - apologies for the length - I think it's interesting though :) On September 18, I made a post, just expressing some questions I had over (at that time) Tropical Storm Rita - and my brother responded... so recently I emailed him another article concerning a similar topic... It was from BBC - I've been trying to get more impartial news lately and I find that international news of the US tends to help with impartiality - not always - but some... This is the article... A video recording shows President Bush was warned of the Hurricane Katrina danger on the eve of the disaster. And this is my brother's drunken response - which I will be commenting on :) "First of all: The press is notoriously left wing, nobody can deny that. We should all be smart enough to form our own opinions from facts... not waiting for AP reporters to tell us what to believe." I will agree that the press is no longer offering news, the press is offering editorials of one sided opinions, unresearched and presented simply to achieve an agenda... that's why reading several different aspects of the same news story is important - but I will whole heartedly disagree that the press is notoriously left hello!?!? FOX!?!? Can we say Conservative Central? "Second: Do people honestly think that disaster planning, down to the zip code level, falls on the responsibility of the President??? The liberal voice wants to blame everything on the administration. Let's go ahead and blame hurricane Andrew on Bill Clinton while we're at it." Yes, if we are going to blame president bush for Katrina, than yes we can and should blame president clinton for Andrew - so no we can't blame INDIVIDUALS - especially individuals at national levels for local events or weather. This particular video, as I understand it, was given to the president the DAY BEFORE the hurricane hit. If there is anyone to blame, or anyone to look at, lets look at the administration and leaders in New Orleans that had been most likely receiving information about the severity of the storm long before it was thought to be a national problem. Let's look at the people who had ignored the inssufficient levees long before this storm hit. And better yet, let's stop perpetuating our "sue happy" world, stop trying to figure out who to blame, and simply lend a hand, lend a dollar or say a prayer, clean up the mess and continue to serve as a support system for those who actually lived through such a horrible ordeal. A friend recently informed me that some individuals are saying, "President Bush allowed Katrina to happen" - WTF people? That would be equating Bush to God. Bush does not control natural disasters, Bush has no control over the weather, I know he's a powerful man, but come on people. And in the same breath I will comment on the idiots that keep saying that God brought the hurricanes to New Orleans because it is our modern day version of Sodom & Gomorrah. A) Sorry to burst your bubble, but most of the First (Old) Testament is a MYTH - It is not intended to serve as a history lesson, the stories in Genesis have a richness that simply reciting data cannot have. The myths are truth represented symbolically in order to escape the limitations of literal meanings. So you cannot equate a truth of what happened to a legend or a myth that is supposed to prove a point. (I won't even comment on what the story of Sodom & Gomorrah is ACTUALLY about) B) God put the order of creation into place long ago, before human beings could possibly perceive of the depth and amazing nature of the created order. Hurricanes and weather patterns were set into place LONG before anyone in New Orleans commited any sort of sin - and God is not about to go changing the orders of nature in order to prove a point or smite people. Have we completely forgotten about the grace and mercy offered to ALL through the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ? And even if that were the case, that God was going to change creation in order to "smite" sinners, the millions of sinners that have come before, that came long before anyone in the United States in general, would have been swallowed up in some horrible disaster long ago. "And let me guess... somehow a hunting accident is a democrat vs. republican issue too, right? Everything is not intrinsically partisan. It's just gets old listening to whiners, instead of problem solvers." No comment on the stupidity of an individual and his inability to safely use a gun while hunting. He's an individual, I could care less what he does on his own time. Dick Cheney's accident did not affect the working order nation in any way, shape or form. "I just watched the video from the AP.... and I'm about ready to swear off newsbroadcasts altogether.... b/c nothing is really reported as "news" anymore. Everybody wants to "break a story", which means everything is now an'editorial', rather than actual "news" that's left to the public to form their own opinion. When was the last time you actually heard a news story that just reported the unbiased news, and you didn't have a strong opinion sent from the broadcaster?? Since when did the press's job become putting a negative spin on everything? Who does that benefit?" You are right - it does not benefit anyone - but I will say that part of the problem with news is that the American public has become lazy - in many ways - but I will specifically comment on the American public and our laziness and inability to form an opinion. The ancient study of rhetoric, "The art or study of using language effectively and persuasively," has been lost, so people require others to provide them with not only the language to argue a point, but the ability to form an opinion about that particular point. Because of this, news broadcasts, both left wing and right wing, have taken advantage of the situation and continue to spoon feed the public without the public so much as blinking an eye, and taking those reports as fact rather than a persuasive opinion. I think the real problem here lies in the laziness of individuals and their lack of desire to attain knowledge and truth in their lives. "*** Changing Topics***Just like the Cheney hunting accident... (horrible ordeal, and yes... his fault), but it has nothing to do with running the country. Cheney doesn't owe the slime-ball press one word of updates. That was a private matter(horrible nonetheless), but it has nothing to do with running the country.The press likes to glamorize everything.... and make a big deal that they weren't informed sooner. Who cares? Did they need to know right away?... no. Did Clinton come forward about his personal life issues that had nothing to do with running the country???... no... in fact, he lied when he WAS asked about it. "Uh, I had a BJ in the oval office... just thought you should know." Guess what, that didn't happen... he didn't fess up to the press in the first 24 hrs. within the BJ, and he lied when eventually asked about it. But guess what else.... that has nothing to do with running the country either... so I don'tcare. Show me a voter that is free of sin, and I'll give you my life savings. Both scenarios are bad news (BJ vs. shotgun incident) .... but neither one of them had anything to do with running the country, and they weren't our business." Agreed - very well said - I wonder if our fascination as a country with reality TV is affecting the way we watch and yearn for news... Those two incidents seem like they should have been on Real World or Survivor - something that we can watch for entertainment - but leave it at that - public and international policies aren't not a reality show - and maybe we should start treating the american presidency as such.