[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Wednesday, November 8th, 2006|
|Regaining Faith in Evangelicals
I was very surprised to find myself reading an article about Evangelicals and nodding positively, finishing the text and thinking to myself, "Yeah, that's good news." In this week's Newsweek, which sports a rather foreboding cover of a cross wrapped in an American Flag and the headline "The Politics of Jesus" is an article titled "A New Social Gospel."
It talks about how more and more younger evangelicals are taking a bigger world view. They're aspiring to make differences along the lines that folks like Bono are doing (in fact, it states that today's evangelicals are "nearly unanimous" in citing U2's Bono as a model of Christian activism) rather than get mired in petty local "culture war" issues like gay marriage and school prayer. After distracted by the noise and rancor of the Religious Right political machine in the US, it's refreshing to be reminded about what real, tangible good can be done in the name of religion, particularly in the developing world.
Expending so much energy on gay marriage, school prayer, intelligent design and putting the Ten Commandments on buildings in the face of genocide and slave trading in third world countries is the moral equivalent of trying to enforce vegetarianism when most of the world doesn't have enough food to begin with. What the Religious Right is choosing as battleground issues in US elections are luxury issues, and college-aged evangelicals are beginning to understand that with a compassion that knows no national borders and shows a healthy skepticism towards wealthy authority figures who more often than not turn out to be hypocrites.
The reason I'm very surprised to have this reaction is, well, I'm an atheist. Okay, I suppose I'm an agnostic but I'll admit to having that final touch of irrationalism that pushes me over to the atheist side (And why not? Believers can't have the monopoly on unreason). I think that centuries-old belief in gods has done more harm than good throughout history, that morality comes out of naturally evolving social contracts, that the earth is several billion years old, that humanity evolved from primates, and the scientific method is strong precisely because conclusions are always being questioned, studied and revised.
But I'm also a realist. Humans are frightened, superstitious people who love to wrap themselves up in easy answers. Religion provides easy answers to the most difficult cosmic questions. That's one of the reasons I have the biggest problems with it. BUT it's not all bad. It has the benefit of inspiring hard, constructive work among believers who want to help others and alleviate suffering.
I've been a non-believer for as long as I can remember, never having once as a child entertained solid beliefs in god (or Santa and the tooth fairy for that matter). I've grown with my non-belief, going through the often-caricatured dramatic antagonist stage before finally settling down into a more pragmatic, if a bit weary, view. Judging strictly by merit, religion occupies in my mind a similar sphere as money does. Is it strictly essential? No, not in a perfect world, and not in a "stranded-on-a-desert-island" kind of way. Yeah, the world could be a much better place without it. But humanity being what it is does currently need it, and we just have to find a way to make it work for the betterment of the world.
|Tuesday, June 13th, 2006|
|Monday, June 5th, 2006|
|Wednesday, May 24th, 2006|
|Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006|
|Keep Your Laundry Entertaining
It's not original, but I'm of the firm belief that you can't talk someone out of their first bad relationship. There's some intrinsic biological need to be the subject of such melodrama and the source of bad poetry that everyone needs to live it once. And then, like born-again Christians or ex-smokers, you can provide smug, all-knowing and utterly useless advice to the next poor schlub convinced that "I can change her" or "You dont know him like I do", or "when it's good, it's really good."
The modern internet counterpart to this is that no one can be talked out of their first blogging spree while recovering from a bad relationship. Oh, sure, it's a terrible idea. But just like the relationship that inspired it, you don't see how bad until much later, when you feel stupid and realize what an ass you've made of yourself. And, really, how it wasn't that big a deal to begin with.
So, that said, I know two of the people involved in this bizarrely engrossing love triangle, which has managed to work its way around the little online community I orbit. http://www.journalfen.net/community/fandom_wank/945002.htmlhttp://www.comicon.com/thebeat/2006/05/steve_niles_stole_my_girlfrien.html
It's gossip, yeah, and it's a lousy deal, but the tired realist in me cant parse phrases like "love of my life" anymore, nor can it really process the drama in all this. Shit happens and you suck it up and move on. (I know that's not helpful Matt, but hey, that's what I'd say to anyone.)
But, yeah, I can say that NOW. I did this about four years ago but that was my first foray into breakup blogging, the new modern insta-regret answer to drunk-dialing. But, at least I had the foresight to keep it contained to only one online friend who put up with the purple prose and poor-little-me crap. That kept my embarrassing laundry visible only to an audience of one.
So, if you just broke up and feel the need to blog, I know nothing I say will be able to deter you from typing it off your chest. But don't cross post to every community and try to keep it only to friends.
That's if you know me. If you don't know me, but I know of you, then by all means post like crazy, because this shit can be entertaining!
|Sunday, September 7th, 2003|
|But I don't wanna...
I head back to California on Sep 23. That's, what, 18 weeks total stay?
... dang. There's only one reason that I want to go back, and she misses me too.
|Wednesday, May 7th, 2003|
More boxes. Mostly done with the office. Started tearing through the bedroom. I'm thinking of storing my computer at a friend's place. When I come back, part of me doesn't want to see my stuff again. I want to see how long I can live with just a week's worth of clothes, a portable DVD player, a computer, and a futon roll. I'm sick of stuff right now.
|Tuesday, May 6th, 2003|
and i'm a quarter-packed. 34 boxes so far. almost all books. about 108 cubic feet. i've got 800 cubic feet to work with. Not bad.
ah, my achin' back.
|Thursday, April 24th, 2003|
|Wednesday, March 26th, 2003|
What a great day :)
|Thursday, September 27th, 2001|