The Green Family, owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores, has asked the US Supreme Court to grant them ‘conscience protection,’ exempting them from their obligations under the Affordable Care Act. They claim that their religious convictions don’t allow them to cover employees’ birth control.
As it happens, I know a little something about conscience protection. I’m a Quaker–one of the groups for whom the first conscience protection laws were created.
Is Pope Francis Leaving Vatican At Night To Minister To Homeless?
Fundamentalists live life with an exclamation point. I prefer to live my life with a question mark.
Amos Oz (“a renowned Israeli author” as quoted in Midrash by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, pg 17.)
Is there a good primer on morality without religion? As someone who is, at best, agnostic I I've never had a good answer when asked "how can you have morals if you don't believe in God?".
I’m probably the wrong person to ask, but I’m hoping maybe someone who reads this will have one.
Off the top of my head, I think I would say, “I try to live by the Golden Rule even though I don’t believe there’s a God who will reward me for it. I believe it’s the right thing to do and the right way to live.”
(When I wrote that, I was assuming that “the Golden Rule” is generally known, but just in case it’s not to someone who reads this, to someone from the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Golden Rule is: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “treat other people like you would want them to treat you.”)
As I was reading this morning, it occurred to me that reading Genesis literally is like keeping a tight grip on a roller coaster lap restraint. I’m not a fan of tortured analogies, but this one seems to work very well. I’m sure others have made similar analogies, but I thought it might be worth a share. What do you think?
First I spoke with Paul Cox of Leicester, N.C. He and his wife Michelle had lamented to Hannity that because of Obamacare, they can’t grow their construction business and they have kept their employees below a certain number of hours, so that they are part-timers. Obamacare has no effect on businesses with 49 employees or less. But in our brief conversation on the phone, Paul revealed that he has only four employees. Why the cutback on his workforce? “Well,” he said, “I haven’t been forced to do so, it’s just that I’ve chosen to do so. I have to deal with increased costs.” What costs? And how, I asked him, is any of it due to Obamacare? There was a long pause, after which he said he’d call me back. He never did.
Read that poster carefully.
Then read this excerpt from the opening of The Shutdown Story the Media is Missing: Crazy Religion Makes for Crazy Politics:
The media is talking about the shutdown in mostly secular terms. Big mistake. This is a religion story and to ignore that aspect is like trying to report on the Taliban without mentioning Islam. The media blame the Tea Party and call them crazy. But the media has missed the real story. It’s not about the Tea Party’s politics, it’s about what made the Tea Party’s politics so crazy to begin with. This is a religion story to end all religion stories.
The reason we don’t get the straight story from the media is because of undue respect for religion on the one hand and a refusal to believe that religion is still so important on the other hand. Deference waits upon scorn. And between these two attitudes the real story gets ignored.
But if you listen to what’s said, it’s all cast in terms that anyone in the evangelical world, or raised there, will recognize. When Rep Ted Yoho from Florida’s 3rd district was asked by an NPR interviewer why he was saying that a government default would be okay he answered, ” I feel in my heart this [the shutdown] is the right thing.” I wonder where I’ve heard that phrase before? Take a look at Yoho’s poster for a town meeting, the Tea Party logo, a church address mingle.
You should definitely read the rest of that article as an indication of how the church and politics have been a driving force behind the shutdown.
That church is located not far from where we used to live in Gainesville.
I know you’re tired of hearing about the shutdown, but exhaustion and just letting it go is exactly what the crazies hope you’ll do. Because they won’t. They’re not giving up. They’re already starting to think about what to do next. Because they believe they’re on a mission from God.
Which would be funny if it wasn’t so scary.
Lillian Daniel: What possessed you to write a novel? Has it always been a dream of yours?
William Willimon: Sort of. I’m a lover of novels, ever since a college course in the modern American novel. I love Flannery O’Connor, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Mann and even dear, sweet, degenerate Marcel Proust. I reread them all. Pastors must be curious about people. Novels are a natural aid to pastoral work. When you watch Gustave Flaubert dissect a character, it’s a great help in attempting to figure out why the chair of your vestry is so screwed up. Also, as a pastor, you spend a great deal of time with people who are exposed and without adequate protection. Being a pastor is therefore almost like being a novelist without all the alcohol.
Lillian Daniel: You Methodists and your obsession with other people’s alcohol! In my denomination, we would say that being a Methodist pastor is like being a pastor without all the alcohol.
☛ Red Dawn delusions and an unmet longing for real community
I am not sure I agree with the conclusion Fred Clark (aka “slacktivist”) reaches. I want to believe it, but I’m skeptical, and even if he’s right, I’m not sure how to get from here to there.
However, this article has been stuck in my head since I read it, and there are several links to other articles well worth your time. Fire up your read-it-later client of choice!
These images are from a scene from the pilot episode of Lewis. This post will make more sense if you have read my comments about the scene before this one.
As much as I hated Hathaway’s comment and demeanor before, I love them here. This scene is much shorter than the previous one, but there is so much going on here.
The most interesting question this scene raised for me is this:
“What if Christians did not feel the need to be ‘offended’ on God’s behalf?”
I’ve written about 1300 more words on this scene and then onto the broader subject of how The Church handles people who have questions, doubts, and anger towards God. I think it’s worth your time, but I’m sticking it behind a ‘Read More’ link so I don’t blow up your dash. Sorry if that doesn’t help in the Tumblr apps. As a wise man once said: “It’s not my fault!”
I’m just going to say it: I hate Hathaway’s response.
The way he casually brings Lewis’ wife’s death into the conversation seems, at best, cold and insensitive, or, at worst, cruel and heartless.
The hard-liners’ beef is with Obamacare. Several representatives have joined Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) in insisting that the health-care reform law is so misguided and unworkable—its threat to Americans so great—that desperate measures are required. So they’ll agree to fund government operations or raise the debt ceiling only if Obamacare is stripped of funding.
This stance defies logic. If the reform law is so flawed, why not try to make it better? Why not wait till the law takes full effect and its failure becomes obvious, at which point it could be repealed through less destructive means—without endangering the entire economy?
Cruz revealed his answer to that question this summer in a candid moment on Fox News: “If we’re going to repeal [the law], we’ve got to do so now,” because once it takes effect Americans will get “hooked on Obamacare.” In other words, opponents aren’t worried that reform won’t work as planned—they’re worried that it will and that it will become as popular as Social Security. For those who oppose social spending on principle, this is an alarming possibility.
We do not simply proceed from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge, but we go forward from the light of the partial knowledge into a greater knowledge which is so much more profound that it can only be described as the “darkness of unknowing.” Like Socrates we begin to realize how little we understand. We see that it is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder. Quoting Psalm 8:1, “O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth”, St. Gregory of Nyssa states: “God’s name is not known; it is wondered at.
Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Way, pg. 14 (via hislivingpoetry)
This speaks very strongly to everything I know, or think I know, or believe, or think I believe. And I. Not saying that to to cute or clever.
Greed is Good?.
Well no, but TJ & Lindsay’s discussion about it is.
Part of the Mule Radio Syndicate
Speaking of which, there are 5 days left to pre-order a Mule Radio Syndicate T-Shirt.
Wear it to the next CHSH and be the envy of all your friends!*
* envy of your friends not guaranteed. But the absence of it might be an indication that you need better friends.