Moral Contradictions

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Politics of Prayer...

...Last week a certain person prayed a "Dear Lord, thank you for this person and this person blah blah blah", yet tellingly left off a key person who is a natural equal to the stated two.. At first thought, this could be due to old age or be explained in another innocent way - yet it's really no secret that this particular omission was no mistake.

My heart breaks when politics enter the church - especially when it's done in an unapologetic manner... and to top it off, when we're supposed to be talking directly to God.

I'm sure all who read this have experienced this phenomenon...when your insides twinge when you hear the knife twist ever so slightly.

Yeah - is it bad when you're relieved to walk out of church?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Real versus Theoretical...

...or something. I haven't spent that much time on this blog lately, and for that, I feel bad. I truly am passionate about what the subjects covered here, and I know I miss a ton when I checkout for a couple of days.

I was thinking tonight about why I'm slacking. I determined my excuses would be the following:
  1. Holidays - I've had some time off from the store which coincided with Kristen having time-off from Seminary.
  2. Church - This is two-fold - The Christmas season is in full gear and I've been sucked into several positions of responsiblity. The other part is that through my wife's position, through the semi-respect I draw as a minister's husband, and through my positions, I've caught wind of the typical crap that can be found in a church.
  3. I've been wrestling about my commitments and the resulting challenges that I've endured and are enduring. Thus my mind has been pre-occupied as some of the crap in the national church I would blog about is now very personal.

For the above reasons, I feel the need to journal, but I've never been good about actually writing one. Ever since watching Doogie Howser I've been fascinated about electronic journals, and this is the way I can express my feelings in a non-verbal manner.

As I intended this blog to be somewhat non-personal, at least in terms of the inner thoughts of my head and my daily struggles, I feel like I should start another blog...

I don't expect anyone to read it or find any profound comments there - I mean, all are welcome, but be forewarned, I ramble (some of you already know that!). The blog will be for me, so if it means I have to type a rambling post that makes no sense, but I feel better for doing it, then I met it's purpose.

I'll update this post once I start it... okay, I decided to use my website for it... njwhite.com.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Rev. Falwell misses the point...

In trying to sum up this article, I feel like whatever I would type, I would fall short. In "Falwell fighting for holy holiday", (found via Raw Story) he, his church and other like-minded organizations are preparing to sue retailers and schools for muzzling the words "Merry Christmas". Please read the article to fully grasp this nonsense.

On one hand, I appreciate the recognization of our ever-increasing "PC" society - I can understand the frustration that ostensibly is providing the impetus for this massive movement.

On the other hand, I'm troubled by the lack of depth in this endeavor. By only scratching at the surface and focusing on words and terms, they're only attacking the symptoms. Without working against the underlying reasons behind the secularization, they are implicitly endorsing the commericialization of Christmas.

When I visit Target between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I'm more disgusted and troubled by the sheer insanity and rudeness amongst the shoppers - the quest to get the perfect gift, the emotions flaring over long lines... not whether or not the girl at checkout says "Happy Holidays" or "Merry Christmas".

How about making an effort for Christian parents to limit what they buy their children? My wife and I know a couple that only buys their kids 3 gifts each because they want to ensure that they understand what Christmas is truly about. My wife and I are seriously thinking about implementing that method when the time comes.

So in the end, I would like to be wished Merry Christmas, but I believe the muscle being placed into this effort could better be targeted against the crux of the issue as opposed to its outward results. No real change will be affected should the Falwell-ites achieve their goal - instead they will be able to bask in the glory of their petty victory, without any accountability or call of its members or the church at large to think of harder, more sacrificial, and more meaningful solutions.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pat Robertson speaks for God

Ay de mi... Since the pro-Intelligent Design members of the School Board in Dover, PA got tossed off faster than a monkey on a freight train, Pat Robertson has now spoken for the Almighty with this proclamation:

I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover. If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city. And don’t wonder why He hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for His help because he might not be there.

Nevermind that those who replaced these members believe that Intelligent Design should be taught... the difference? ID should be taught in a religion class - not as science.

Quick political sidebar...

To those who can only think of politics in terms of black-and-white and think that "compromise" is a dirty word - wake up to reality. The more you focus on your "base", the less people you represent and the more you malign.

Moderation is just that - the opposite to knee-jerk reactions based on ideology. Moderation looks at reality - at pragmatic solutions that will help everybody, not the far wing of the ruling party. It isn't 'soul-less', nor can it simply be described as 'walking the fence'. It simply is the result that voters become disenchanted with the extreme and firm planks of the two dominant parties - and from those that charge they are a "RINO" or "DINO" if they don't agree with key beliefs.

Katherine Waddell, an independent, beat Republican incumbent Brad Marrs Tuesday for delegate of the 68th Virginia House District. After she received $10,000 from George Pence, a local auto dealer, Marrs sent out a fundraising letter announcing that she had received the contribution from a "wealthy homosexual businessman". Politicans from all stripes and both sides of the aisle blasted Marrs for exploiting people's prejudices for political gain.

Pence wrote that "the politics of hate do not work in Virginia" and the result "reflects that voters want to support candidates who conduct themselves with honor, who listen to constituents and who focus on good government."

Waddell concludes that:
One word I kept hearing was 'moderation.' That's what people want. They're tired of the partisanship. They want to see Republicans, Democrats and independents work together.

Waddell's victory is bittersweet as it is rare for an independent to unseat an incumbent, yet isn't final as she won with 44 votes. Also telling is the defeat of Chris "Africans will have sex with anything that has a pulse" Crandell and Dick 'contraceptives are "baby pesticides"' Black.

If only Bob 'I can't remember if I've had oral sex' McDonnell loses - then I'll feel really good about the election results.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Waiting game...

I'm quite glad that Mr. Chris Craddock lost his bid to be the delegate of the 67th district here in Virginia. He's a youth minister who lost the endorsement of the Republican incumbent because he's uh... how do you say...nuts? Perhaps his comment that "Africans will have sex with anything that has a pulse" is the reason why minorities seem to be turning out in droves. Mr. Craddock was also backed by VCAP, a PAC bent on running against moderate Republicans with far-right candidates.

I'm hoping that Pat Robertson's boy Bob McDonnell loses - not because I'm a fan of his Democratic candidate, but because he's the only candidate in this race who forgot whether or not he's had oral sex. We'll know he won't support judges who engage in anal or oral sex, as that activity "... certainly raises some questions about the qualifications to serve as a judge."

The fact that Dick Black is in trouble excites me - he's done nothing but introduce polarizing legislation to further his extremely narrow views as opposed to other politicians who are focused on taking Virginia forward.

I haven't focused too much on Virginia politics since the primaries since A. it would have pissed me off too much and B. as demonstrated before, I can get side-tracked away from the original intention of the blog.

No matter what happens tonight, I'm slightly ambivalent because Kristen and I just got a new kitten named Chloe, so I'm busy playing with her...

However, I will follow the candidates that do win over the next 2 and 4 years who demonstrate they are more focused on advancing their close-minded agenda instead of what's best for Virginia.

Update: Looks like a big win for progress and moderation, and a loss for those who blur religion and politics in an alienating manner. Dick Black, Chris Crandell, and Brad Marrs all lost. The statewide race for the Attorney General is too close to call, but the latest momentum seems to be going against Bob "I love Pat Robertson/abstain from oral sex" McDonnell. I imagine we may not know the results for awhile.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A politician with guts...

...or at least taking advantage of weak president. Cheers to Sen. John McCain for vowing to tack on the torture ban on all major Senate legislation. Jeers to Cheney and Bush for fighting this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

What a shame...

...Kansas is a beautiful state - I'm just not sure I want to live there...

Here's the latest example: Church and State Problem in Kansas

Um... for another Blue Collar themed saying... that ain't right.

Holy Moly

Hehe... as I was thinking about how to begin this entry, I thought it would be appropriate to write out "My sister..." and I instantly got Larry the Cable Guy's voice in my head. Anyways... moving on...

My sister has an astute post over at her blog, Inspired Thoughts, that is worth reading. A snippet:

Our worship of God is completely useless if our hearts are not filled with Christ.

Pretty cool...

Not sure exactly what to make of this...

A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason... (Article)


I guess we'll just see what kind of response occurs...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

G-dub warned us...

Our first president warned against the establishment of political parties, and I believe what we see in politics today is Reason Numero Uno why: when party interests are elevated above what's best for the nation at-large, you have trouble. Deceit, corruption, and collusion have an open door as the party ignores national interests and instead plays to its proverbial "base" through the politics of division to maintain power.

Thus, the separation of church and state is justified - why do we want to dishonor and allow the impurities of corrupting politics to enter God's House? To those who charge that the intent is to allow God in politics and government, not vice versa, I have a reality check for you: once that street is open, the power to direct traffic is gone forever.

It's all about sex...

...such is many a-Christian's criticism of anything in our media and/or society. However, this article published a couple weeks ago by the Associated Baptist Press, titled "Birth control, not liberalism, explains mainline decline, researchers say" shows that it's everywhere, and even us prudish Baptists can't escape.

The crux of the article is thus:

"It took most of the 20th century for conservative women to adopt family-planning practices that have become dominant in American society," the writers said. "Or to put the matter differently, the so-called decline of the mainline may ultimately be attributable to its earlier approval of contraception."


With an interesting footnote:

However, the sociologists cautioned, it will be some time before the conservatives' "demographic momentum" exhausts itself -- perhaps 50 years -- because those born during the conservatives' belated baby boom of the 1970s will be filling those pews for quite a while.