Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

A meditation on the passage of time:

"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher,
"Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth remains forever.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets,
And hastening to its place it rises there again.
Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north,
The wind continues swirling along,
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.
All things are wearisome; man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So, there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new"?
Already it has existed for ages which were before us.
There is no remembrance of earlier things;
And also of the later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

- Ecclesiastes 1:2-11

Friday, December 11, 2009

Rev. Rick Warren's statement

Now this is a statement I can get excited about.

A written copy can be found here.

Frankly, when I heard yesterday that Rev. Rick Warren had come out with a statement opposing the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality bill, I imagined that he dispensed upon us another unconvincing, rear-end covering, washing-my-hands-of-any-responsibility type statement to toss out to the media and nothing more. But I think the difference here is that Warren is not just making a public statement to absolve himself. He is addressing Ugandan pastors and churches directly, using his influence and personal connections with them to urge them to oppose the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. I do not see empty talk here, but an appeal that may very well make a difference.

I particularly like how he makes arguments from Scripture that would appeal specifically to a conservative Christian Ugandan audience. In doing so, he has made himself an easy target for the liberal and secular media, but that makes me respect him more, because it shows the genuineness of his effort to convince the audience he is addressing, whose voice will undoubtedly play a key role in the outcome of this bill. I'm impressed.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

"I do think you have blood on your hands"

If your book was being used to promote the legal execution of gay people in a foreign country, wouldn't you be a tad more outraged than this guy?

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Friday, December 04, 2009

You know the country's going down the tubes . . .

. . . when you can't even get arrested for speaking out publicly against homosexuality.

Conservative Christian ministers from across the land, determined to test the bounds of a new law punishing anti-gay hate crimes, assembled outside the Justice Department on Monday to denounce the sin of homosexuality and see whether they would be charged with lawbreaking.

Anything other than sex "between a male and his wedded wife," announced the Rev. Paul Blair, "is a perversion, and the Bible says that homosexuality is in fact an abomination."

No arrest was made . . .

. . . In fact, the few cops in attendance were paying no attention to the speakers, instead talking among themselves and checking their BlackBerrys.