Friday, December 30th, 2005 :: 12:51 PM

"The truth is I have always sort of felt like I am on the outside looking in. I always kind of feel out of place, like I don't quite fit. The people that like most of the things I like are not Christians and so though we are a like in a lot of ways I always feel different than them too." (>>)

Friday, December 30th, 2005 :: 10:16 AM

"You criticize others for being Pharisees. I'll tell you who the real Pharisees are. They're you… You think you're so high and mighty and mature… You find a group to look down on, to feel more spiritual than, and you talk about them behind their backs. That's what a Pharisee does. You're a Pharisee." (>>)

Thursday, December 29th, 2005 :: 1:05 PM

"If your concern is in following Jesus and that is what you really want to do, as opposed to following some kind of subcultural caricature of a political idea, you're going to have to be willing to follow him back and forth and back and forth. You're going to have to be willing to have people, even in the church, call you a liberal, which can be very derogatory when used by these people. I think the more we align ourselves with political parties in the church the more it makes it impossible to follow Jesus." (>>)

Tuesday, December 27th, 2005 :: 12:09 PM

"Tolstoy's ardent strides towards perfectionism never resulted in any semblance of peace or serenity. Up to the moment of his death the diaries and letters kept circling to the rueful theme of failure. When he wrote about his religious faith, or attempted to live out that faith, the antagonism between the real and the ideal haunted him like a dybbuk. Too honest for self deception, he could not silence the conscious that convicted him because he knew his conscious to be true. Leo Tolstoy was a deeply unhappy man. He fulminated against the corrupt Russian Orthodox Church of his day and earned their excommunication. His schemes for self-improvement all floundered. He had to hide all the ropes in his estate and put away his guns in order to resist the temptation towards suicide. In the end, Tolstoy fled from his fame, his family, his estate, his identity; he died like a vagrant in a rural railway station." (>>)

Monday, December 26th, 2005 :: 6:32 PM

"If it were my business to have a 'view' on this, I should say that I much approve of merry-making. But what I approve of much more is everybody minding his own business. I see no reason why I should volunteer views as to how other people should spend their own money in their own leisure among their own friends. It is highly probable that they want my advice on such matters as little as I want theirs." (>>)

Saturday, December 24th, 2005 :: 10:57 AM

"Various scenes in the gospels give a good picture of the kind of people who impressed Jesus. A widow who placed her last two cents in the offering. A dishonest tax collector so riddled with anxiety that he climbed a tree to get a better view of Jesus. A nameless, nondescript child. A woman with a string of five unhappy marriages. A blind beggar. An adulteress. A man with leprosy. Strength, good looks, connections and the competitive instinct may bring a person success in a society like ours, but those very qualities may block entrance to the kingdom of heaven. Dependence, sorrow, repentence, a longing to change — these are the gates to God's kingdom." (>>)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2005 :: 10:55 AM

"Indeed, the very concept of Western liberty sprung in part from an understanding that, if the state has the power to reach that deep into a person's soul and can do that much damage to a human being's person, then the state has extinguished all oxygen necessary for freedom to survive. That is why, in George Orwell's totalitarian nightmare, the final ordeal is, of course, torture. Any polity that endorses torture has incorporated into its own DNA a totalitarian mutation. If the point of the U.S. Constitution is the preservation of liberty, the formal incorporation into U.S. law of the state's right to torture–by legally codifying physical coercion, abuse, and even, in Krauthammer's case, full-fledged torture of detainees by the CIA–would effectively end the American experiment of a political society based on inalienable human freedom protected not by the good graces of the executive, but by the rule of law. […]

"Let me state for the record that I am second to none in decrying, loathing, and desiring to defeat those who wish to replace freedom with religious tyranny of the most brutal kind–and who have murdered countless innocent civilians in cold blood. Their acts are monstrous and barbaric. But I differ from Krauthammer by believing that monsters remain human beings. In fact, to reduce them to a subhuman level is to exonerate them of their acts of terrorism and mass murder–just as animals are not deemed morally responsible for killing. Insisting on the humanity of terrorists is, in fact, critical to maintaining their profound responsibility for the evil they commit. […]

"What our practical endorsement of torture has done is to remove that clear boundary between the Islamists and the West and make the two equivalent in the Muslim mind. Saddam Hussein used Abu Ghraib to torture innocents; so did the Americans. Yes, what Saddam did was exponentially worse. But, in doing what we did, we blurred the critical, bright line between the Arab past and what we are proposing as the Arab future. We gave Al Qaeda an enormous propaganda coup, as we have done with Guantanamo and Bagram, the 'Salt Pit' torture chambers in Afghanistan, and the secret torture sites in Eastern Europe. In World War II, American soldiers were often tortured by the Japanese when captured. But FDR refused to reciprocate. Why? Because he knew that the goal of the war was not just Japan's defeat but Japan's transformation into a democracy. He knew that, if the beacon of democracy–the United States of America–had succumbed to the hallmark of totalitarianism, then the chance for democratization would be deeply compromised in the wake of victory." (>>)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 :: 12:22 PM

"One memo issued by Donald Rumsfeld himself in late 2002 outlined 17 techniques approved for use in Guantanamo Bay interrogations, including threatening prisoners with dogs, forcing them to wear hoods, leashes and/or women's underwear, or the use of interrogations that last for up to 20 hours at a time. This memo was rescinded a month later, but then later replaced with a list of 24 approved techniques; the contents of this list are still classified." (>>)

Tuesday, December 13th, 2005 :: 12:21 AM

"…it was the image of johnny cash sitting out by his pool as his family is leaving him that i strangely felt so very personally connected to. that painful confrontation with yourself, when all the act has fallen away and what you're left with is something completely unsalvageable and permanently ruined." (>>)

Monday, December 12th, 2005 :: 6:04 PM

"Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they […] who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily?" (>>)

Friday, December 9th, 2005 :: 4:52 PM

(>>)

Sunday, December 4th, 2005 :: 3:05 PM

"Regardless of the services provided to the homeless, being homeless is undesirable. And, since homelessness is caused by things unrelated to food, shelter, and clothing, then the provision, or withholding, of these things has no effect on homelessness – either by creating it, or extending it. Withholding aid to homeless people does not inspire them to leave homelessness, but will certainly increase the misery they experience while being homeless." (>>)

Sunday, December 4th, 2005 :: 3:05 PM

"As the cold air hits me I wonder for the thousandth time what being homeless feels like. A sinking scary feeling fills my breast. To wander isolated amidst all that holiday cheer has to be devastating. But then again, you don’t have to be homeless to feel that way." (>>)

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 :: 3:39 PM

"Or, for further example, say someone is facing a troubled marriage. He reads and discovers a sentence in 'Walden' that says, 'I did not speak to another person for over a month.' From this, he concludes that God is telling him to not argue with his spouse. The fact that this is a universe away from what Thoreau meant with that sentence would be irrelevant. This is how we would be using 'Walden' as a 'magic book.' Recognize the method? I think we all do. […] This isn’t a book of plans, principles and magic bullets for life’s problems. It is the New Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. […] it is possible to be so microscopic that you do miss the most obvious point of all." (>>)

Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 :: 12:11 PM
sigh
"i was just a little girl
when your hand brushed by my hand
and i will be an old woman
happy to have spent my whole life with one man" (>>)
Saturday, December 3rd, 2005 :: 8:58 AM

"It is the very nature of a democracy that it not only does, but should, fight with one hand tied behind its back. It is also in the nature of democracy that it prevails against its enemies precisely because it does." (>>)

Thursday, December 1st, 2005 :: 8:25 PM

"The fierce words of Jesus addressed to the Pharisees of his day stretch across the bands of time. Today they are directed not only to fallen televangelists but to each of us. We miss Jesus' point entirely when we use his words as weapons against others. They are to be taken personally by each of us. This is the form and shape of Christian Pharisaism in our time. Hypocrisy is not the perogative of people in high places. The most impoverished among us is capable of it. 'Hypocrisy is the natural expression of what is meanest in us all.' " (>>)

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