Archive for September 10th, 2010

September 10, 2010

Book Review: Love is an Orientation

by Vince

I just finished this book tonight. What a neat read!
Andrew Marin had three friends “come out” to him in three consecutive months. As an evangelical bible thumper, he wondered what to do. He at first struggled with his thoughts but then made the choice to fully immerse himself in the GLBT (gay lesbian bisexual transgender) community and live within Boystown (a GLBT community in Chicago). He established the Marin Foundation at the age of 24, which stands to bridge the divide between the GLBT annd Church community all the while elevating the discussions surrounding it from both sides.

If you are planning on picking up this book with hopes of it saying homosexuality is a sin or answering any other close-ended question of yours, you won’t be fully satisfied. Marin models after Jesus’ ministry: just as Jesus elevated the conversation when he was asked polarizing, close-ended questions (the most being by his disciples), Marin elevates the GLBT conversation by not looking to pack punches and preconceived prejudices with each conversation or interaction. He takes the humble road of listening, trusting in God’s lifelong plan for everyone, and listening some more. I blurted out to MJ today that I wish Marin would just answer some close-ended questions. I felt like my insides thrived on them being answered!

Love is an Orientation explains this topic from many angles: it includes a pro-gay hermeneutics approach, about 20 lifestyle directions to practically reflect on pertaining to this issue, and much more. Basically every question or thought you could just about think of related to the GLBT community, homosexuality, the Bible, and the church can be found or directed to in this book. That sounds like a bold statement but I feel this book, along with its references to other books and biblical verses, passages, and books, provides a solid and elevated approach to this heated topic.

I leave you with this quote from the end of the last chapter:

Generally speaking, I don’t know any believer – gay or straight – who doesn’t want to be like Jesus. And here is our chance to be just a little more like him: stop asking and answering close-ended questions in an attempt to determine if someone is on “our team” or “their team”. Jesus modeled a life about kingdom ways and thinking, not pinning down – or getting pinned down by – circularly legalistic debates of politically charged matters. As such we have the ability to follow his model and elevate our questions and answers past the same means that have tragically only haunted the GLBT-Christian relationship. (p.185)

September 10, 2010

World of Motion

by Vince

An exploration in nostalgia, the “World Of Motion” is a tribute to man’s various achievements in transportation and technology.

September 10, 2010

Christianism as an Offshoot of Jihadism

by Vince

Andrew Sullivan goes off after reading this:

It’s a tipping point where mainstream American Muslims become indistinguishable from the mass murderers of 9/11 in the psyches of those too poorly educated to know the difference. Religious warfare, once begun, is hard to stop; and when it is tacitly endorsed by a political party many of whose members believe that the president is a Muslim and no one in the GOP directly attacks, rebuts and discredits this nonsense, we are in very dangerous territory. The disturbing fusion of nationalist Christianity and loathing of Obama in the Beck-Palin movement – crystallized by the Park51/Cordoba contretemps and the August Mall rally – wittingly or unwittingly gives these violent fringes a coherence and legitimacy. Because it’s not just hatred of Obama at stake any more; it’s a conflation of Obama with Islam and then a conflation of Islam with Jihadist terror. If that’s in your mind, it takes very little to set off a chain of inflammatory acts that build on one another.

These connections have been perpetuated by the demagogues I sadly hear friends of mine watch and listen to, by uncited and ignorant chain e-mails, and by loosely made and poorly pieced together vitriolic standpoints.

I don’t go as far as saying it it all the GOPs fault for this. There are leaders out there. I would like to see more from the Right, if anything is available, consisting of pragmatic, balanced, and sober-minded viewpoints regarding Barack Obama’s birth, religion, and the obvious divide between jihadism and moderate Islam.

This has almost turned into a factory churning out sheep. Being lead by Fox News never looked so sorry.

September 10, 2010

Ad Critique of the Day

by Vince

Have you seen this commercial?

Copyranter flips:

What an absolutely outrageously manipulative insensitive hubristic piece of Green advertising bullshit. From a fucking car company! A car company who’s (non-electric) cars are helping to destroy the bear’s ice pack!

September 10, 2010

Surveillance State Reading

by Vince

Julian Sanchez gets in depth about the constitutional boundaries the USA has crossed with the expansion of the surveillance state.

Andrew Sullivan is disappointed in Barack Obama for not prosecuting the war criminals under our previous administration.

*Both of these reads are longer but rather interesting.

“If we are to recover as a nation under law rather under a prince, it will not be through the channels of the two major parties or through any president acceptable to the mainstream of either party. It will require a citizenry so enraged and protective of its core liberties against this security Leviathan that it compels dismantling this machinery and exposing it to the light of day – not recklessly, not abruptly, but by close examination, judicial review, press inquiry, protest. There are legitimate trade-offs between national security and liberty. But the protection of war criminals where no secrets are at stake except the scandal of torture itself is not one of them. Alas, there are few such citizens around. And, most tragic of all, those who say they care about liberty above all – the tea-partiers who invoke the founders – seem only too willing to surrender every liberty for the prize of a security against a threat we cannot even measure, and to bow down before a new king (and probably warrior-queen) rather than elect a new president.”

September 10, 2010

Koran Burning: Will it Happen?

by Vince

The above interview is really interesting and reveals a lot of inside information and insight into this issue. It is mind boggling hearing Terry Jones’ answers about what Jesus would do in this situation as well as his responses to other related questions pertaining to rage and firearms. Matthew Ygelsias makes a few points:

I think obviously the idea that governments should not prohibit private expressive behavior is important. By the same token, that doesn’t mean everyone should run around acting like a jerk all the time. You have a first amendment right to say and do lots of things, but that’s no reason to actually do it.

Now all that said, it’s kind of nuts, isn’t it, that we have the general in charge of an ongoing war commenting on some guy in Florida being a jerk. Even nuttier is that he might well be right that this episode will endanger the lives of Americans soldiers. But that really raises deeper issues about Afghan society and the wisdom and nature of America’s engagement with it. The essence of a digital, globalized world with billions of inhabitants is that there’s always going to be some jerk somewhere doing something ridiculous.

The Right has labeled this as part of the list of race bating issues by Barack Obama. A long and well updated list is here of Obama’s video interviews related to this issue.