During our class this morning, we discussed the famous passage relating to love that can be found in Paul’s initial letter to the folks in Corinth.

Our teacher for the day, as he is wont to do, came at the passage from a side angle, springing from the shadows as it were.

Without going in to too much detail, we basically came to the conclusion that love is the opposite of being an asshole.  There is a book out now that addresses the problem of assholes, and our esteemed teacher brought it to bear on the Corinthian church.  It was fascinating.

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M shared this sad, sad article with me a moment ago. The article reminds me of the great, controversial, classic movie, “The Best Years of Our Lives“. How come we don’t hear stories like Stacy’s more often?

Broken by This War: Stacy Bannerman

ZionismLast night, while visiting with friends who are heading to a “sensitive” county in North Africa, I was reminded of the crime that is Christian Zionism.

Christians all over the Middle East and the Mediterranean rim have suffered mightily because of Western Christians’ views on Israel, Palestine and the Jewish people as a whole. Fellow Christ-followers have been forced from their homes and traditional sites, places where God has been worshiped and Christ has been taught for twenty centuries, because Jesus will come back if we put the Jews back in the Holy Land.

What a sad state of affairs, when we would side with folks who don’t claim Christ over and against our confessing brothers and sisters…

Why doesn’t George W. Bush just step down and go hide in Crawford?

I mean, when Mayan priests are having to perform rituals to remove evil spirits that follow you around, you probably need to rethink some things.

I’m with the Mayans on this one: if GWB ever came to my temple, I’d go all Maccabean on the place.

Veteran’s Truck

In order to fit in with the previous post’s theme, I thought I would mention something I’ve come across recently that is absolutely ridiculous to me. Following a recent message, a person came up to me and told me all about how he/she couldn’t stand Oprah because she doesn’t practice what she preaches or that she couldn’t care about the poor because she owned three homes in different locales. The same was then said about Al Gore and his use of electricity. My frustration is with this idea that as long as the messenger falls short in some way, the message is no longer valid and is not binding or authoritative for me. If this were utilized in church, nobody would take any sermon to heart and nothing would ever get done. At what point must we forgive the concrete form in which the message takes shape and allow the message to break out of its inevitable inadequate embodiment?

Am I wrong for thinking,

“Yeah, eight Alabama kids dying in a tornado really sucks, but that’s nothing compared to the *insert exponential number* of kids who die every *insert time period* from *insert horrible cause of death* in *insert deprived country*.”

Ann Nicole Smith dies, and we talk about it until the resurrection. An uncle makes some preschool kids smoke pot, and it’s all over local and national news. Some kids die from a tornado, and it’s a top story. But some African kids get abducted and either killed or forced to be soldiers, or they die of horrible, yet easily treatable, diseases, and the news acts like they haven’t even heard of Africa. Even the nice soldiers who died this morning in Iraq will be quickly forgotten, their names never known by the national public. If it wasn’t for Ann Curry, we wouldn’t have even known they were dead.

Don’t get me wrong. Eight kids dying is bad, really, really bad, but when shit like this happens, we act like it’s never happened before, like our country is the only place in the world that knows about suffering. We obsess over the details, having a hard time understanding how God could let such things happen. Yet, this is nothing compared to the pain parents all over the world feel when their children are senselessly killed by other humans, not natural disasters. If my kid died in a tornado, that would really suck. But if my kid died because some messed up guy shot him/her, or because a small portion of the world was hording the resources my family needed to live, then that would be really, really fucked up .

Am I out of line?