Benny's World

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Good Book Stickers

I saw this on the DU Theology forum today.

Proposed sticker on the cover of the Bible, in response to fundamentalists'desire to put stickers on the covers of books which discuss evolutionary theory:

"This book contains material on Christianity. Christianity is a belief system that explains the origin of the universe and all living things in it as an act of divine creation. This material should be approached with an open mind and critically considered. In no sense should what you are about to read be considered a theory, as theories are based on data and observation while religious beliefs are taken as articles of faith. While many claim that this book is the literal word of God, no evidence for divine authorship exists.

It should be understood that Christianity is only one of hundreds of religions that exist today, each of which proposes an alternative view of the universe. As each religion requires no proof other than faith, each can be viewed as equally valid and none may actually be correct."

Other than the Old Testament is in the Bible, I thought this was pretty accurate for the Good Book. If only!

Dancing with an Elephant

Today in the DU Lounge there was a discussion about whether someone who was a Democrat could be married to a Republican. Most said no, nor could they date someone that was politically unaware or uninvolved.

There were one or two who said that it depended on issues whereas they didn't like extreme liberals nor did they want to hang around freepers either. To that reply, here was my response:

I'm married to a Republican, and it's my second Republican husband. You learn to agree to disagree on certain issues, and entertain others with your differences, as my spouse and I often do with our friends. Most of his close friends are very conservative whereas most of my friends are liberal to moderate (like me). I like his friends because they believe what they believe and are very articulate in their POVs, and aren't nasty about it like some female talking heads most of us here dislike. [I was referring to Ann Coulter, who is on the cover of Newsweek this week]

One issue we definitely agree on is the right to a quality life. He thought Tom DeLay and Bill Frist were wrong to get in the middle of the Schlinders' fight with their son-in-law, and he was just as disgusted with the Schlinders as I was.

We also both believe in recycling, taking care of the planet, and it was his idea to buy our 2004 Prius, which I really love. He bikes at least 50 miles a week when the weather is kind because he enjoys being outdoors.

We also have a "support our troops" yard sign in our front yard because we want our men and women home as soon as possible from Iraq.

We married each other, not the political parties, just like Maria and Ah-nold.

I would add he loves all of our pets and he makes me laugh. But he also knows I will do what it takes to promote JRE's and Elizabeth's cause to raise awareness about poverty and do something about it.

We danced the night away on our wedding night. He does at times have a memory like an elephant, but he's a keeper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Control, Control, & Out of Control

Today, the Vatican Conclave of 115 cardinals elected a new pontiff, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany. It has been some centuries since a German cardinal emerged in succession as the new Pope. While many world leaders lauded the Conclave's choice, others (as quoted from the AP)" worried about the new pope's deep conservatism, saying he was the wrong choice to lead the church as it grapples with a host of modern problems. Divisions between the wealthy north and the poor south, priest sex-abuse scandals, a chronic shortage of clergy in Western nations and the stream of Catholics leaving the church are among the issues confronting [the new pope's name]Benedict XVI. "

While I do not know this man personally, my understanding of the pontiff is that he does not believe in moral relativism; his own theological leanings are more black and white. At one time he may have been progressive, but as reported on a couple of blogs today, he has denounced gay and lesbian marriage, been vocal against any kind of contraception, including the use of condoms for HIV/AIDS prevention, especially in African and Asian countries, and has condoned priests who have been involved in child molestation.

I am not a Roman Catholic. I admit that I've observed many shortcomings with that demonination as much as I have with the Baptists, the Church of Christ, the Pentacostals, and Unity Church parishioners. Unlike the other faiths I just mentioned, the Roman Catholics permit wine and spirits to be imbibed, but I don't understand how they believe they can easily define life or death based on old teachings, nor do I understand why simple contraception beyond "rhythm method" is still intolerated by the new pontiff. Why is the new pontiff so pro-birth, but anti-virus oriented to keep people alive via the use of condoms? Why would he allow priests to continue in the church if they have sinned against humanity by the molestation of children?

To my mind, there are many control issues. Discipline is good, but to be disciplined to the point whereby many church doctrines do not match modern problems, then situations get out of control, such as young unwed mothers, AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, all which lead to poverty in many cases.

Like the rest of the world, I wish the new pontiff well. I hope he travels, and most of all, while I don't expect him to change church doctrine, I do hope he will listen. The more he tries to control, the more out of control will occur. My suggestion: take a lesson from our Republican leadership. The more they control, the more the people will take note, and perhaps, there will be a rebellion beyond the walls of Congress.