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Showing posts from November, 2006

Where Speed Takes Us

A man spends the chilly November night on a sidewalk, cradling his four-month-old daughter. Homeless? No. He's waiting in line to buy the new Play Station--he and thousands of others across the country. We almost needed the National Guard to control the crowds.

To understand the barbarism of thousands camping outside stores for 72 hours, including those who skipped school and work and those who brought their children along for this great quality-of-life experience, there's no need to latch on to the pros and cons of video gaming. The cause is our nation's addiction to speed.

My second-grade teacher Mrs. Wood taught us: "Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Change the good to better and the better to the best." We now live in an environment summed up by "Later, Soon, Now. We don't care how. Just change later to soon and, quick, make soon into now."

Later, there will be more (many more) Play Station 3s issued, but we want them NOW. And if we don't …

Romance Language?

Did you know that the term Romance Language has nothing to do with romance? In The World's Major Languages, editor Bernard Comrie reveals that "Romance derives through Spanish and French from ROMANICE, meaning 'in the Roman fashion' but also 'candidly, straightforwardly.'"

A recent, televised poll conducted in Mexico City on the subject of "making love" reminded me of this fact. The question put to the men and women on the street was, "What are the reasons for making love? ¿Cuáles son las razones para hacer el amor?" Some twenty persons of varying ages gave their straightforward and candid answers. "Need, Desire, Loneliness, Fun, and (sadly) Obligation." One of the twenty mentioned the word "Love," and it was at the end of her list of reasons. I wasn't taken aback by the honesty of the answers, but I was slightly taken aback by the marked absence of their inclusion of the word "amor," because I cannot t…

Feeling Haggard: Life by Which Letters?

"Ousted Evangelist Confesses," the AP headline reads. Ousted, perhaps “outed,” and already judged, by himself and others. In his letter to his congregation, Reverend Ted Haggard wrote, "I am guilty of sexual immorality. I am a deceiver and a liar. A part of my life is so repulsive and so dark that I have been warring against it all of my adult life." Haggard’s departure from New Life Church creates an opportune moment for Christians to return to the four Gospels as their centerpoint. Jesus said, "Forgive, not seven times, but seventy-seven" and "Judge not." He did not judge or condemn prostitutes, lepers, thieves, or homosexuals. He forgave those labeled unforgivable. And he had x-ray hearing that could detect almost any lie. Why lie? Haggard says he resorted to deceit “because of pride.” It’s more likely he lied for the same reason the Samaritan woman at the well did: to avoid the invisible guillotine of judgement, the shame that slices through…

Rediscovering America

The mid-term election results indicate that we are rediscovering our country, and the importance of honest citizens in helping to steer it in a healthy direction. Even in the face of inexcusable voting machine malfunctions, unnecessarily long lines and waits to vote, inconsistent ID regulations, and certain Secretaries of State trying to shut down polls before everyone had a chance to vote, U.S. citizens made their message clear.

We want a new direction, one that takes us away from: an unjust and incompetently directed war, illegal wire tapping, multi-trillion dollar deficits, underfunded schools, unaffordable state college tuitions, minimum wages that do not provide a minimum living income, unaffordable and inaccessible medical care, and the needless destruction of our natural environment and resources.

This is a first step, though, not a finishing one. The old-direction president has veto power and can be expected to use it. We need to continue to communicate with elected officials, c…