Saturday, August 15, 2009

so long, santa fe!

it's been a great extended visit (short residence?) in the land of enchantment.... and now i must roll onward to new adventures. whither away? je ne sais pas....

this morning i cycled my last local trip: out to el dorado by the direct route, to compare it to the dirt trail which i had followed thither a few days ago.. the road up and the road down are NOT one and the same....

Monday, August 10, 2009

rant about (im)morality of war

i wrote this in response to a conservative christian editorial piece which my brother had sent me. i will give the link below in case anybody cares to see the silly propaganda which the religious right-wing is producing. anti-gay, anti-stem-cell-research... you know the drill...


as long as we are considering moral issues and rejecting apathy, may i propose that we consider the moral implications of war? the USA has spent over a trillion dollars of our tax money to fight two (maybe three) wars in the middle east. the retributions from these wars will certainly last decades. i propose that it is immoral to kill people based on political views. i think it was immoral for the USA to invade vietnam to stop them from choosing communist leaders; and it was immoral to invade iraq because they might possibly have some weapons which they didn't have; and it is immoral to occupy afghanistan to influence their political development.

as long as the middle east is full of foreign (american) soldiers, the radical conservatives among the taliban will have a cause around which to rally their support.

as long as american citizens are apathetic about our overseas violence, we will continue to reap the fruits of violence. the citizens of afghanistan and pakistan whose relatives have been killed by american air strikes are NOT apathetic: our war efforts are creating enemies by the thousands.

"he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." (Matthew 26:52 ) i believe it is time to put down the sword.

today is the anniversary of the SECOND use of nuclear weapons against human targets. we have become frightfully apathetic about these terrible weapons. we have been convinced that "the cold war is over" and so we have stopped thinking about what will happen when somebody decides to use nuclear weapons in war or as a terrorist attack. this is IMHO the biggest threat to humankind, which utterly dwarfs any other problem we face. and yet we are completely apathetic about it.


opposing stem cell research or same-sex marriage is just petty distraction compared to nuclear war.

if you plan to end your apathy through action about something important, look at the nuclear sword of damocles which can nullify all other issues.

if you actually believe that the government should decide who is allowed to marry, and that this is an important moral issue, by all means reject apathy about this and do something, but consider the moral implications of encouraging our government to DENY rights of couples who seek domestic tranquility: this strikes me as counter-productive. shouldn't we encourage love and stable relationships based on love?

and if you really oppose stem cell research, think about people you know who are in wheelchairs or suffering diseases which might be cured as a result of this amazing medical development...

but really, people, look at the BIG picture. the article was correct that apathy reigns and has drained us of our will to improve things. what can we do for our children and grand-children? we have to start by figuring out a way that they will not be burned up in a nuclear war. as long as those horrible weapons are armed and aimed, the threat of annihilation of all human life is quite real.

we cannot afford to be apathetic. do something. anything.


since i am receiving error messages regarding the URL of the article, i will just cut 'n' paste it here:

Rejecting Apathy
The Church and American Civilization

August 7, 2009

Many Christians, once motivated by protecting the sanctity of life, religious freedom, and traditional marriage, seem inconsolable—as if the fight is over and there’s nothing we can do about it.

But embracing this attitude is a certain prescription for disaster.

I received last month a newsletter by Don Reeverts of the Denver Leadership Foundation. In it he gives the following quote, often attributed to an 18th-century Scottish writer:

The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence...from bondage to spiritual faith...from spiritual faith to courage...from courage to liberty...from liberty to abundance...from abundance to selfishness...from selfishness to complacency…from complacency to apathy...from apathy to dependency...from dependency back to bondage.

These are sobering words. This question of where America is in the cycle should be extremely important for Christians. That’s because I firmly believe that culture is nothing but religion incarnate—that when we see a culture losing its moral footing, it’s because believers have failed to bring Christian truth to bear in society. We haven’t been, as Calvin put it, making the invisible kingdom visible.

So what stage are we in? Reeverts thinks we are entering the stage of apathy. And I hate to say it, but I agree. I am finding growing apathy among believers.

Apathy manifests itself in how people dress, how they talk, how they care for each other—and how concerned they are about the great issues of the day. It resembles what the Greeks called acedia, a languidness, a torpor, in which we stop caring about anything.

Apathy inevitably leads to dependency. And once we become dependent on Big Brother, we are back in bondage. Can anybody really watch the dramatic growth of governmental power and not be alarmed? For the fact of the matter is that the more government acts as God, the less people depend on the one true God.

Your congressmen and senators are home now for summer recess. Have you contacted them?Are you angry about what’s happening in this country today? Things like the elimination of the conscience clause for medical professionals, or embryonic stem cell research, or the advance of gay “marriage,” or threats to religious liberties, or government making life-and-death decisions in health care?If you’re not upset about those things, you’ve succumbed to apathy already.

I can’t imagine anybody sitting at home, comfortably watching us slip into a state of dependency without getting outraged, and then without expressing that outrage.

If we value our liberties, if we believe in the most fundamental principles upon which our civilization is based, then we owe it to our God and to future generations to speak out.

Institutions aren’t going to change the course of America; but great movements have changed the course of the nation and will again. And what better network to fuel a movement than the Church? Rejecting apathy and trusting in God, firm in our belief in human dignity and our God-given liberties, the Church can ignite a fire in this country.

Do we get it? I pray that we do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

graduation day

it's official: i can add M.A. after my name.
but so what? will a degree in asian philosophy & literature help me find a job?
stay tuned!