Weekend Update 03-12-2011

Posted: March 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Weekend Update | Comments Off on Weekend Update 03-12-2011

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware recently gave two lectures at North Park University. If you’ve never heard him speak, it’s well worth the time. He’s certainly one of the great Christian thinkers of our time. Below is his recent sermon on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son. It’s much shorter if you just want a taste.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZq-PG2pwhg

This pair of blog posts by Krugman (first one here and second one here) illustrate the financial irresponsibility dominating the GOP. It started in the 80s and now seems to permeate every corner of the party. Like Krugman, I certainly don’t think the Democrats are fiscal saints (or even that they aren’t necessarily also pawns of some of the same industries and people who largely control the GOP). But over the past thirty years the Democrats have generally paid for most things as they are proposed and implemented while the GOP have implemented massive tax cuts and the Medicare prescription drug program (not to mention a couple of wars) without ever actually paying up front for even a part of them. They’ve all just been dumped into the deficit.

Chef Jess at ATX Gluten-Free has posted the 2011 edition of her SXSW Gluten-Free Guide to Austin. Yes, there are more options in Austin than in a lot of places around the country. It’s a great guide and I appreciate her effort putting it together.

Why Evangelicals Hate Jesus. The column employs hyperbole to make its point, but at the end it makes a good point. I do think this particular approach toward separating all of Jesus’ commands from their political views and interpersonal relationships does, in fact, represent the peculiar way our default secular culture, and it is the default culture for us all, manifests in evangelicalism. Strange, isn’t it? Of course, many of them would say they are fighting secularism, but that represents a misunderstanding of secularism. Secularism does not say there is no God (of any sort), though it also doesn’t say there is. Rather, our secular culture separates the religious into its own sphere and things that are not God’s into other spheres. And that’s exactly what we see in evangelicalism. I wonder if that is not an inevitable consequence. Evangelicalism was birthed in the modern era and includes mostly strands of Christianity that even in their own worship hold that material things (bread, wine, water, oil, icons, incense, etc.) are ordinary matter and purely symbolic if they are even employed at all. Such a division could have only occurred in the first place within the larger context of an already secular culture or a culture that was in the process of becoming secular. Of course, secularism doesn’t dictate any specific beliefs or views on any given topic. It simply provides a cultural mechanism by which people can place God in one compartment and their political, financial, or other views in another.

An interesting post on the Rob Bell “Love Wins” controversy by someone else who has actually read the book.

Social Security is “mainly” an insurance company. There is so much propaganda, misinformation, and outright lies about Social Security floating around out there that’s it nice to find a reasonable post on the topic from an economist.

CNN’s Eatocracy has another gluten free post. As someone with celiac disease, I share the mixed feelings about so many people going gluten free to try to lose weight. On the one hand, I appreciate the increased options such awareness affords me. On the other hand, going gluten free is not a good way to lose weight unless, as the article notes, you eat in such a way that you reduce an unhealthy over-consumption of processed foods, especially processed carbohydrates. As with many who are diagnosed with celiac disease, I gained weight while I worked on becoming healthy and adjusting my diet. Now I’m working on making the long-term changes necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy weight in a healthy body.

Wil Wheaton’s mother and sister were diagnosed with celiac disease. His Mom has launched a public awareness campaign, Not Even a Crumb, that has partnered with the Celiac Disease Foundation to produce national PSAs and educational materials.

The Wisconsin GOP abandons the pretense that their union-busting efforts and war on the middle class had anything to do with fiscal concerns by trying to strip the budgetary issues from the bill in order to pass it without the required quorum. Reports I’ve seen indicate they may have failed even in that, leaving the bill vulnerable to certain legal challenge. If I were the Republican running for the state Supreme Court and on which a Republican majority on the court hinges, I would be pretty nervous heading into to their April 5 election.

The House GOP is looking to kill the consumer information database that was authorized under President Bush, further exposing their complete sellout to corrupt influences. The GOP doesn’t want us to know which products can kill our children. That’s not hyperbole. That’s really how this boils down. $$$ are more important than lives to them.

And what is the GOP going to do now after bizarrely presenting themselves as the “saviors” of Medicare? Time to pay the piper.

Go John Berry! Maybe, just maybe, the GOP is starting to lose traction in their lies trying to incite class warfare. It looks to me like a tactic designed to distract the public’s attention while they rob the country blind and try to take us back to the era of the late 19th century.

Finally, it’s official. Women win the battle of the sexes. Video below.


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