Tag: religion
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All Posts Tagged With: "religion"

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My First Tattoo

Oceanside, California, is located on the border of Camp Pendleton, that really big Marine base.  I was there.  Not Camp Pendleton, Oceanside.  It was 1969 and I was doing what I would later learn was called a ‘walkabout’.   I was drifting with the wind, facing the draft, Vietnam, adulthood, and ultimately responsibility.  Oceanside was […]

26Sep2016 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Oh Lord Won’t You Give Me?

I loved and love Janis Joplin. I like the song she sang, Mercedes Benz, because it reminds me of a Church I attended with a friend when I was about 16. It was located in South St. Joseph. There was a neon sign outside proclaiming PENTECOSTAL SOMETHING OR OTHER CHURCH. A bright white two story […]

31Jul2016 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Anger Disguised As Political and Religious Reasoning

Most of the extremist people I know, left or right, have troubled backgrounds.  There is no other way to say it.  Today I am going to use a dear troubled friend as an example.  Of course, the name has been changed.  Some will argue that this is mere anecdotal reasoning and thus not comprehensive enough […]

7Mar2016 | | Comments Off on Anger Disguised As Political and Religious Reasoning | Continued
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Founding Fathers Commentary on Religion

  “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” – George […]

18Mar2014 | | Comments Off on Founding Fathers Commentary on Religion | Continued
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The Crusades of the Religious Fundamentalists

The 21st Century is shaping up much like that of a thousand years past.  A few Muslims poked us in the eye and all of our kinfolk came out of the woods to defend our honor – something like that.  We do not intend in any way to suggest the the horrid attacks on our […]

2Oct2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Bad Religion

Religion tends to be about the rules, about the law. Spirituality tends to deal in Grace and Mercy and personal progression. Religion, balanced with grace, mercy, and progress, can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth.

17Apr2012 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Investing Our Self In A Cause

When we completely invest ourselves in any cause we risk our sanity.  From religion to politics to civil rights to social justice – to being employed in a noble profession – any cause can be consuming.  Problems come when we identify ourselves in the context of the cause.  We risk losing touch with social norms.  […]

14Jan2011 | | Comments Off on Investing Our Self In A Cause | Continued
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America is the Definition of Cosmopolitan

Everything about America that is considered great and wonderful is the result of the melding of cultural ideals brought here by immigrants. People across this country enjoy Mexican Restaurants – as long as there are no actual Mexicans in the place.

8May2010 | | Comments Off on America is the Definition of Cosmopolitan | Continued
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The Conscience Clause, Death Panels, and Health Care Reform

The idea of legalizing a medical conscience for Health Care providers originated with the debate around abortion.  The idea was simple enough: If a physician was morally opposed to abortion, he should be allowed to follow his conscious.  Fair enough.  But the conscience clause evolved under the Bush Administration, growing nasty tentacles of religious dogma. […]

14Aug2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Of Fear, Faith, and Foreign Affairs

Fear and faith do not live in the same home.  The word ‘faith’ conjures images of peace of mind, hope for the future, for the fellowship of man.  Faith speaks to the lion lying with the lamb – and the lamb can sleep with both eyes closed.  Fear exists in a troubled mind, a troubled […]

5Jun2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Rise And Fall of 20th Century Fundamentalism

Fundamentalism is always reactionary, always combative, always fearful, and often militant.  The term originated with American Protestantism and gained momentum in the early 20th Century, but may now be aptly applied to a variety of religions and politics.  According to Merriam-Webster fundamentalism is “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set […]

28May2009 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Abortion and Common Sense

Abortion is not black or white, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.  Abortion is a problem of humanity – and this era of Abortion in American will be studied by future historians.  The folks looking back will recognize the futile and selfish partisan bickering that prolonged the agony of a health care disaster.  Both fanatical […]

6May2009 | | 8 comments | Continued
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American Soldiers as Christian Evangelicals – Hunt for Jesus

No one would deny a soldier the right to faith – even if we wanted to.  Is there anything wrong with having military chaplains?  Not at all.  I have a copy of a Navy Hymnal from 1941 – and it seems to me that each solider is better off, is even a better soldier, if […]

4May2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Stormy Marriage of Jesus

Arranged marriages are common in some cultures.  And why not?  We adults know what is best for our children.  We tell ourselves we are only being responsible when arranging their life.  The practice is highlighted in books and movies.  Perhaps the best known, or perhaps most entertaining, is “Fiddler on the Roof.”  After all, traditions […]

18Apr2009 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Sunday Is For Religion, Tuesday Is For Politics

We obviously have a system that promotes a separation of Church and State. The week begins with Sunday at Church – then we take a day to cool off and return to a mentality of sanity, so we can go vote. Most elections are held on the first Tuesday of November or April. Church is always on Sunday, no matter which month. And that is how America works – faithfully keeping religion separate from politics.

5Apr2009 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Jesus: Radical Rabbi or Practical Mystic?

There is a lot of talk these days about being “spiritual” but not being “religious.” We often hear, “I see myself as a spiritual person, but not as a religious person.” This is the mantra of the children of the counter cultural movement of alternative spirituality. It is so much the mantra of a movement that it is no longer counter cultural, but represents the mainstream American thought process.

19Jan2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Worst Church Marquees and Why They Are So Wrong

This has been a burr in my saddle for years.  Longer than that, I guess.  Before I made the switch to regular church attendance, the oh-so-clever church marquees were a beacon of tacky religion that always made me wonder why people would gather in a  place like that.  Now, they are just embarrassing and they […]

7Dec2008 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Which Came First? Religion or Depression

There’s a cartoon with a chicken and an egg in bed together. The chicken is smoking a cigarette with a very satisfied expression on his face, and the egg is restless and disgruntled. The caption above the egg says, “Well, I guess that answers the question.” That’s how I think of the relationship between depression […]

30Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Which Came First? Religion or Depression | Continued
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Obama’s Best Chance – Palin’s Example

The opportunity for the White House increased dramatically with the McCain choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate.  Initially Palin energized what the Republicans call their base.  She did and she does energize those people and that is exactly what is wrong with the Republican Party. Check out the latest Obama advertisement: Plain represents […]

29Oct2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Desmond Tutu on Homosexuality

I received an email today – as I do many times during the course of the week – from a family member who must be convinced the we see the world in the same way.  I am sure that many of you have someone that prowls your email this way.  Based on some skewed version […]

13Oct2008 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Voting on Faith, or Faith in Voting

This is a tough one.  We allow freedom of religion, of spirituality, freedom to worship as one chooses.  But what about when it is time to vote.  We want a person in office who is reasonable, intelligent, some education about government or economics or business or work or something is useful.  We look to past […]

5Oct2008 | | Comments Off on Voting on Faith, or Faith in Voting | Continued
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Conservatives of 2008 – Raping and Pillaging

Something is way out of whack in the logic of the Conservatives of 2008. The logic is guilt or honor by association. The logic goes something like this: “I believe in Jesus and I believe we should drill for more oil in our backyard.” Thus given that Jesus is a solid belief it follows that […]

2Oct2008 | | 8 comments | Continued
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States Rights – a Feudal System

Bear with me – sometimes the answers to current problems have historical roots – and the answers to complex problems have already been worked out.  Over time people have tried varieties of government and economic systems.  Our Founding Fathers studied the history of government and molded the bold liberal experiment that we now call the […]

17Sep2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Gustav – A Message From God?

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States the reaction of the populace varied from the scientific to the religious. The scientists said the magnitude of the hurricane could be attributed to Global Warming.  Some fundamentalist theologians argued Katrina was sent by God to punish New Orleans for sinful ways. We use […]

31Aug2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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McCain Drives Religious Wedge to Promote War

John McCain is driving a deeper wedge of religious animosity to promote his own version of Cowboy Diplomacy. In a speech this morning on the conflict between Russian and Georgia McCain was quick to note that Georgia is a country that has embraced Christianity. Does this religious embrace, by itself, justify their defense. No, an […]

12Aug2008 | | Comments Off on McCain Drives Religious Wedge to Promote War | Continued
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Anecdote – Stoking Flames of Conversation

The Fireside often presents reason in the form of anecdote. We are not alone. Anecdotes are the parables of modern discourse. They are not scientific, not products of statistical analysis. Anecdotes offer insight by personalizing issues. Anecdotes are used to wrench the gut, to appeal to the human emotion, to define issues in terms of […]

1Apr2008 | | Comments Off on Anecdote – Stoking Flames of Conversation | Continued
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This Time – The Tide is Turning

This time, this election, we must bridge the chasm of race, gender, politics – liberal and conservative, religion – fundamental, evangelical, literal, figurative, Christian or Islam. Real leadership is nuanced. It is not black and white. It is not rooted in the winning and losing mentality of pure capitalism. I believe it was Henry Ford […]

27Mar2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Political Bracketology by Pundits

We are coming out of the political semi-finals.  The Old Man beat the Evangelical.  Now the Old man is poised to face off with the winner of the Black Man versus White Woman contest. Are these useful characterizations?   Personally, I don’t think so.  But if we listen to the 24/7 cable news channels we […]

20Mar2008 | | Comments Off on Political Bracketology by Pundits | Continued
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Religion – General or Particular

Son, We talk about faith.  We talk about religion.  We talk about Church.  But when you and I talk we are on different plains.  I usually speak of religion, even Christianity, in general terms.  You have a commitment to a particular church and their doctrine.  You and I represent the fundamental debate of faith – […]

16Feb2008 | | Comments Off on Religion – General or Particular | Continued
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George Carlin – Video On Religion

Son, We talk about religion.  We talk about faith.  We talk about politics.  We talk about religion, faith, and politics mixed together.  Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we are angry.  Sometimes we are thoughtful, sometimes emotional. My mood today is more in line with George Carlin.  Check him out – there is some strong language. […]

10Feb2008 | | Comments Off on George Carlin – Video On Religion | Continued
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Supply Side Jesus

Dad, The conversation around here has been meandering through politics, economics, and religion. I thought I might dig into my YouTube favorites for a nice video that could begin to tie it all together for us. Low and behold, I dug up this gem from Al Franken: Thanks, Al. I needed that. Bryan.

28Jan2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Make Money, For Christ’s Sake

Dad, We have written much here about faith and action, lifestyle and religion. I want to revisit the conversation about the Prosperity Gospel. I spent much of my formative years rolling my eyes at the public face of Christianity. The public face of religion in general, as a matter of fact. In the last five […]

26Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Make Money, For Christ’s Sake | Continued
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Violations of our Constitution – Revolution

Son, We have written a number of times about our Founding Fathers, and their intent for this great country. Today finds our country again at the threshold of revolution. But American Revolution has come to mean that we have an election and the people decide in a peaceful manner what direction the country should take. […]

18Jan2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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5 traits of a healthy faith

Dad, We have conversations about faith, religions, ad Jesus a lot in this magazine. I thought it might be helpful to look at some of the factors that define healthy faith journeys and get some feedback on what that might look like. In short, here are 5 things that I think represent a healthy faith: […]

18Jan2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Trash Talk – the elixir of life

 Son, Trash talk is the elixir of life, the stimulus of humanity, the foreplay of debate, a ceremonial dance before the big event.  Trash Talk is the spirit of politics, sports, scientific innovation, and even religion.  Minus Trash Talk, nothing is left. Did you ever notice two boxers at their weigh-in.  One might think it […]

13Jan2008 | | Comments Off on Trash Talk – the elixir of life | Continued
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New Hampshire Gender Factor

Son, I don’t believe it.  Not this time.  Not in 2008.  The pundits are trying to analyze the prospects of the candidates in terms of old ideas.   Statistically, which means historically, demographics help predict outcomes.  Not this time. Tim Russert was on NBC News tonight – preaching the same old stuff.  “…New Hampshire has […]

5Jan2008 | | Comments Off on New Hampshire Gender Factor | Continued
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The Year of Fear – 2008

Son, Irony abounds. An Election for President of the U. S. is upon us. We are talking about the leader of the free world. Some candidates for this heralded office use fear to jerk the chains of voters. Freedom and fear are not compatible concepts. Further irony reeks from the pores of candidate supporters – […]

30Dec2007 | | Comments Off on The Year of Fear – 2008 | Continued
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The Prophecy of Ohg Rea Tone – 2008

Son, I am compelled on this Christmas Day in 2007 to offer some insight into 2008. In the true spirit of prophecy I will focus on conditional prophecies. Conditional prophecies are most useful because they allow us opportunity to have some say in future events – if we were only aware of the conditional stimuli. […]

26Dec2007 | | Comments Off on The Prophecy of Ohg Rea Tone – 2008 | Continued
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Nostradamus – a cruel hoax

Son, I have a bad knee – well, they did surgery on it in 1983. My knee now reacts to the weather. I can always tell when it rained yesterday. Such is the case with the predictions of Nostradamus. It is Christmas Day and I am tired – I stayed up late last night – […]

25Dec2007 | | Comments Off on Nostradamus – a cruel hoax | Continued
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how do we change our behavior?

Dad, Our conversations tend to evaluate religion through the lens of scholarly interpretations. The problem with religion and scholarly discussion is that we can leverage the dialogue to avoid subjects that might get personal, and therefor inhibit growth. When people start to talk about feelings and families, about what they like and dislike about themselves, […]

28Sep2007 | | Comments Off on how do we change our behavior? | Continued
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Proud to be an American!

Son, I wear my patriotism with pride. I am embarrassed by the representation of our American Republic by our current Presidential Administration. The current flavor of our Government is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. The Second Amendment is not more important than the First Amendment, or the Fourth or the Fifth – […]

18Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Proud to be an American! | Continued
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Founding Fathers – Liberals all!

Son, I am fascinated by your ideology. You have achieved my dream for you – a dream that you would grow to be an independent thinker – a dream that you would base your thoughts on basic, solid, values. Your values are solid – belief in the basic goodness of humanity, belief in progress (let’s […]

18Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Founding Fathers – Liberals all! | Continued
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Babies Vs. Politicians: Who is Smarter?

Son, A national magazine recently had an article titled ‘Babies Vs. Chimps.” It felt like I was reading an article on ‘Babies Vs. American Politicians.” The study examined theories of general-intelligence versus cultural-intelligence. The different study groups “performed about equally well on ‘physical learning’ – locating hidden objects…understanding concepts of more and less, using a […]

17Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Babies Vs. Politicians: Who is Smarter? | Continued
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Angry Grandfathers Do Not Pray!

Son, I’m with you.  A continued, recurring illness in your little four year old girl is terribly frustrating.  One of my favorite optimistic sayings is, “We should be grateful that we live in an era of modern medicine.”   But what do we do when the health care system comes up short? I don’t have […]

16Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Angry Grandfathers Do Not Pray! | Continued
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Praying for Help

Dad, It is Sunday morning and your granddaughter has a fever again. She finished her antibiotics two days a go, and this is becoming a frustratingly familiar story.  People have been suggesting alternative medicines, our neighbor is a chiropractor, my mother-in-law is concerned about all of the antibiotics that my daughter is taking. At first, […]

16Sep2007 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Let Us Have Peace, Shall We?

Dad, Our ship’s boatswain used to tell us, “look for problems, you’ll find them. Look for solutions, you’ll not find problems.” I think this can be applied to our current political climate. I don’t like the administration, but I don’t want to hear about it anymore. I want us all to get to work on […]

13Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Let Us Have Peace, Shall We? | Continued
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Denial – Outdated Mythology

Son, There is a huge mistake by Addiction Treatment Professionals, law enforcement, and the courts in addressing the problem of alcohol and drug addiction. The dominant philosophy the past thirty years has been that the central problem is one of denial. That is to say, the belief that alcoholics and addicts have abnormally robust denial […]

12Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Denial – Outdated Mythology | Continued
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A letter from Barack Obama…

Dad, I just got this letter from the Obama campaign. I want to share it because it represents why I will vote for him. I believe him. Bryan. ______ Dear Bryan, Six years ago, on a bright and beautiful Tuesday morning, a new kind of enemy came to America’s shores. We will never forget the […]

11Sep2007 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Addictions – Losing Control

Son, Dante wrote The Inferno. I am not sure about this – anyone can correct me if they wish, but I think Dante described the greatest sin as giving up control of your life to something external – gluttony, sloth, envy, greed, power, or addiction. The punishment for violating the greatest sin was total loss […]

11Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Addictions – Losing Control | Continued
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Same turkey, different flavors

Son, As you are well aware, I like to bake a turkey. Not so much the turkey – but the turkey dinner experience. When I bake a whole turkey I like to prepare my favorite oyster dressing ( my own recipe.) While the turkey cooks I like to make my own bread (I have developed […]

11Sep2007 | | Comments Off on Same turkey, different flavors | Continued