I always loved the Christian rituals at this time of year, so its nice to know I can find working alternatives.
Hope your Halloween was fun. (PS: here are my adorable grandbabies in costume!)
Occupy the Microphone:
Our Wednesday radio show was probably the best one this week, featuring Mary Olsen of Nuclear Information Resource Service. Have a listen!
Thursday's show: Senator Lindsey Graham's stock takes a nose dive in polls
Friday's show: Did the US government know before or after the Israelis attacked Syria?
Remember, you can listen to us on livestream every weekday, LIVE AT FIVE! (And if you'd like to donate your spare change to us, please go HERE.)
:: 11 signs you might be an MRA (Men's Rights Advocate). Although this was posted earlier this year, I just came across it... and this certainly rings true for all of my online brawling.
:: How the religious right won: Birth of the fundamentalists, in our modern times (Salon) is excerpted from Molly Worthen's upcoming book, titled Apostles of Reason: The Crisis of Authority in American Evangelicalism. Excellent history and analysis, highly recommended, and I am hoping to read the entire book soon.
From the piece:
The decisive battles over the meaning and role of the Bible in modern society [in the 70s and 80s] did not, primarily, unfold in the form of dueling proof texts or Sunday pulpit ripostes, but in skirmishes for control of the machinery of intellectual authority: seminaries, missions boards, denominational presses, and authorized church history. The personal magnetism of gurus was not sufficient to stanch the secularist tide. Just as thousands of volunteers at Billy Graham’s crusades worked to settle new converts into local churches before their enthusiasm could evaporate, conservative activists knew that the fervor wandering sages left in their wake would fizzle unless channeled into institutions and sustained by an infrastructure built to teach and train future generations.Worthen provides an in-depth account of exactly how the fundies took over the various Protestant denominations from within. And it's some fascinating history:
Historically, Southern Baptists have opposed the idea of creeds: formal statements of doctrine to which all members of a church must subscribe. Every Baptist is expected to articulate his beliefs for himself. The principle of “soul liberty” or “soul competency” means that each believer is accountable to no one but God. Few principles, however, are absolute in reality. Early Baptists approved confessions that reflected consensus and set boundaries for acceptable beliefs, although they did not recite them in worship. Southern Baptists, alarmed by Darwinism’s challenge to traditional interpretations of the Bible, adopted a “Faith and Message” in 1925 declaring their belief that God created man “as recorded in Genesis.” The convention elaborated on this statement in 1963 after seminary professor Ralph Elliott roiled Southern Baptists by advocating a nonliteral reading of the creation story in his book The Message of Genesis. The [Southern Baptist Convention] emphasized the “proper balance between academic freedom and academic responsibility” in Christian education, but reiterated the fallible nature of any doctrinal statement, the possibility for future revision, and the importance of soul competency.If you are interested in the history of Christianity (and specifically, how the biblical-literalists took over everything), this is a great read.
Conservatives began to suspect that the historic Baptist resistance to creeds provided cover for heterodox interpretation of essential doctrines. They pushed for traditionalist revisions and more rigorous enforcement of statements of faith at the denomination’s seminaries and colleges, and even agitated for emendation of the Baptist Faith and Message. Creeds, far from threatening the Baptist way, were the only way to preserve it.
And it explains so much.
:: Check out Paul Krugman's New York Times column titled, A War on the Poor:
John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, has done some surprising things lately. First, he did an end run around his state’s Legislature — controlled by his own party — to proceed with the federally funded expansion of Medicaid that is an important piece of Obamacare. Then, defending his action, he let loose on his political allies, declaring, “I’m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on the poor. That, if you’re poor, somehow you’re shiftless and lazy.”Read it all.
Obviously Mr. Kasich isn’t the first to make this observation. But the fact that it’s coming from a Republican in good standing (although maybe not anymore), indeed someone who used to be known as a conservative firebrand, is telling. Republican hostility toward the poor and unfortunate has now reached such a fever pitch that the party doesn’t really stand for anything else — and only willfully blind observers can fail to see that reality.
:: Jonathan Chait explains Why Letting Everyone Keep Their Health-Care Plan Is a Terrible Idea. (New York magazine)
:: Your Day of the Dead dose of cute comes from sweet Harley, all dressed up in a Hello Kitty costume. Adorable!
:: Your spiritual-reading assignment: A Journey from Humiliation to Humility, by Corrado Pensa:
Humiliation is not automatically present; it gets fabricated by the ego. We have a choice. We can get into the old habit of fabricating suffering, or we can stop and watch. Can we literally sit still in the tiny contraction that we experience, in face of that person who never smiles back at us? ‘Never’ means ‘every time’. ‘Every time’ means ‘a number of opportunities’. Are we going to use those opportunities? Or are we going to consider them irrelevant, minor?~*~
Maybe it is the end of a long day. We are tired and our feet hurt. Can we focus on this fact instead of drifting into wanting and aversion? Can we be gently aware of the range of physical sensations as well as the range of reactions? This is such a wise use of time. But it can just slip through our fingers. We can constantly think that we have something more important to do.
I took some artsy photos in a car wash and I also updated my Flickr page, so yall come over and see my purty pics.
Have a great Day of the Dead/All Souls Day.