Friday, August 31, 2007

Lying For The 'Truth'

"The truth shall set you free, but first it will piss you off"--Gloria Steinem

I had a long discussion today with a friend that was worked up over the highly controversial hate-crime bill that is currently being debated in Washington. Now, let me be very clear about something, before I jump into this because I'm sure I'll take some heat for my view:


Alas, the following is not an argument for this hate-crime bill, but a criticism of the DISHONEST tactics employed to dissuade people from supporting it. I take NO issue with those opposed to hate-crime legislation. However, I DO take great issue with people on either side of the political isle that use lies and fear to manipulate people into supporting their agendas.

For instance, I think certain democrats did a great disservice by shadily attaching hate-crime legislation to an unrelated war bill that would give funding to the troops to put President Bush in a catch-twenty two (if he vetoes the bill because of the constitutionally-questionable hate-crime proposal, then he simultaneously denies funding for badly needed supplies for the troops). This is NOT the right tactic. It is unethical and borders on extortion.

But I am more appalled by how certain Christian political groups have responded to the new hate-crime legislation. First off, hate-crime laws already exist, protecting racial, religious, and ethnic groups from those who seek to harm them because of the color of their skin, the place where they worship, or the country from which they were born. Hate-crime law not only ups the penalty for such violent crimes, but provides more resources to federal and state investigators to more aggressively prosecute such cases. The new legislation aims to add the disabled, both genders, and sexual orientation to the list of those protected under hate-crime law. The sexual orientation clause would include homosexuals (as well as heterosexuals) and this, of course, is controversial for many Christians.

Organizations like The American Family Association (AFA) have come out in full force against this bill. I am deeply ashamed of THE WAY in which they are opposing this bill, not the fact that they are against it.

AFA sends out all sorts of massive e-mail alerts to rally people to act on upcoming legislation and other current issues. This is completely fine. However, with this bill, their e-mail alerts FLAT OUT LIE. AFA claims that if THIS bill is passed with the sexual orientation clause, it will make it illegal for Christians to teach that homosexuality is immoral or even discuss homosexuality, resulting in HUGE fines and imprisonment.


A bill in Congress could make it a crime for pastors and churches to speak against homosexuality
Message to pastors and other Christians: Just keep your mouth shut
If pastors and other Christians don’t aggressively oppose a bill now in Congress, in the near future they could be subject to huge fines and prison terms if they say anything negative about homosexuality.The proposed law could make it a crime to preach on Romans Chapter 1 or I Corinthians Chapter 6. Or even to discuss them in a Sunday School class. If churches and individuals want to keep the government from telling them what they can and cannot preach and teach about homosexuality, they better get involved now!This bill could make negative statements concerning homosexuality, such as calling the practice of homosexuality a sin from the pulpit, a “hate crime” punishable by law. This dangerous legislation could take away your freedom of speech and your freedom of religion.

The AFA does not provide readers with the actual bill to read for themselves, but only a link to THEIR summary of it. At best, this is a display of reckless and irresponsible fact-checking and at worst, a blatant lie designed to stir up fear among their readers to ensure unquestioned allegiance to their agendas.

The bill itself, which I have read in its entirety several times, has NOTHING TO DO with prohibiting freedom of speech, or even "hate speech" (for statements to qualify as hate speech in the U.S., a person must be INCITING or ORDERING others to commit a crime, not voicing disapproval of a race, religion, people group, or a sexual practice). A scenario for a Christian to be charged with hate-speech would be if they are telling people to stone gays (OK, so Gary Demar might be in trouble, but I say it's about time). But this bill does not even deal with hate-speech laws. This bill keeps the previous hate-crime criteria that protects racial and religious groups (us Christians, too) intact and is only adding other groups that would be covered under it. This legislation does NOT redefine or broaden hate-crime guidelines. It only deals with PHYSICAL VIOLENT CRIMES, and not speech whatsoever, NOT ONE MENTION!

We've had THE SAME criteria for hate-crimes for races and religions since the late sixties and preachers can still openly criticize other religions without violating the law or undergo threat of GOVERNMENT penalty. Teachers on Christian radio and television have regularly denounced Islam as "an evil religion," their prophet as a "pedophile," it's people as "under Satan's control" and "condoners of terrorism and violence." Recently Bill Keller was taken off the air because of such language, not by the government, but by the station owners who did not approve. They reserve the right to regulate what programming is on their stations.

The point is that Christians in the U.S. (other countries without free speech rights is a different story) have been living with the religion protection clause in hate-crime law without facing LEGAL opposition for teaching that other religions are immoral, false, etc. etc. Why would it be any different for gays protected under THE SAME law that ONLY deals with violent crimes committed against them? Plus, more than 30 states have enacted hate-crime laws that ALREADY include protection for people of all sexual orientations and preachers in those states have not been legally forced to alter their views or public teachings on sexual morality.

For crying out loud, authorities can't even successfully prosecute NAMBLA members (North-American Man Boy Love Association) for putting out propaganda that explicitly teaches pedophiles how to lure children!!! If this is not hate speech, I do not know what is! Regardless, THIS particular law has nothing to do with people's right to free speech or expression of religious freedom. In fact, the bill clearly acknowledges protection for all voices, even ugly ones, guaranteed under the First Amendment! For the Family Association to propagate that this hate-crime legislation would negate free speech and religious expression is a BLATANT LIE, period.

The worst part about this is that sincere believers are duped into opposing this bill on what SEEMS to be legitimate grounds, but because what they've been presented with is a big fat lie, it appears to the gay community that Christians despise them and want everyone else protected from harm except them (notice no one is calling for a repeal for the other categories protected under hate-crime law). People's hearts will be as hard as the stones we throw at them.

Instead of selfishly (and falsely) harping on how this law will impede on our freedoms (which it won't), wouldn't the better tactic be to stand up for gays and say, "Even though we do not agree with your lifestyle, we will not tolerate or give credence to anyone who seeks to physically harm you, degrade you, abuse you or terrorize your communities." Even for the segment of Christians that view gays as "enemies," couldn't this be an opportunity to bless them (as we are commanded to do to our enemies) by ensuring their safety and demonstrating our concern for any injustice done to them? Couldn't this be an opportunity to build bridges to a community we've managed to alienate? The answers to those questions must be thought about and prayed about by each believer that is informed with the WHOLE truth. The American Family Association has done a grave disservice to its audience by spoon feeding them politically-motivated lies. Lies are never the right way to get a viewpoint across, no matter what the cause.

And if after you get ALL the information and are still against hate-crime laws, there are truthful and honorable ways to oppose it. Argue for equal rights for all and not special rights for some. Argue against hate-crime law as a whole and not just the fact that gays will be included. Argue that there are already laws to protect all people from violent crimes. Just argue with truth and integrity and do not stoop down to deceiving propaganda and fear-filled manipulation.

This is not the first time the AFA has conveniently omitted information, stretched the facts, and blatantly lied. Please, I implore, TEST ALL THINGS sent out by agenda-driven organizations, even Christian ones. Read the ACTUAL legislation in question, and not only the biased summaries of them. It's not only the smart thing to do, it's the right thing to do.

Here are the URLS to the FULL versions of the two hate-crime bills currently being debated.

The following link is to an article that clearly articulates the unsavory tactics of the fanatics on BOTH sides of the issue.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Tuesday Night Crying Fest

Well, it looks as if my tuesday night American History Through Film class is going to be a tear-jerker. I arrived home with puffy red eyes and a runny nose. We watched one of the best/worst documentaries I have ever seen, Spike Lee's "Four Little Girls." It's about the 16th Street First Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham Alabama of 1963, in which four little girls were killed. Enraged white supremacists purposely planted dynamite by the Sunday School classrooms in retaliation for the national publicity given to the church's civil rights marches.

The surviving family members of the four little girls are interviewed and recount the events that lead up to the famous bombing and how it still affects their lives even today. Spike Lee does a brilliant job of weaving the raw personal experiences of these families and the larger historical context of the era together.

Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins ceased to be notorious causualties of the Civil Rights Movement, and become REAL children. I left feeling like I was thoroughly acquainted with them, their families, and their culture. It's a terrible feeling of loss and grief, and I can't imagine how their families have come through it, struggle with it, and live with it.
With some of the comments left on my blog whenever the topic of race comes up, I think it is imperative for people to watch documentaries like these, especially when a culture of racism still lingers in parts of the south. Watch and be forever changed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Stupid White People

Just kidding, sort of. I am taking an elective this semester, American History Through Film, that focuses on the the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Right now, we are covering the Civil Rights Movement. We watched two compelling documentaries entitled, "Ain't Scared Of Your Jails" and "Mississippi: Is This America?" These documentaries deeply moved me and I would like to share the experience.

The first film, "Ain't Scared Of Your Jails," showed the actual footage of the college student nonviolent organization movement, inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, that lead the revolutionary sit-ins, demonstrations, freedom rides, and served unjust jail sentences. The movement began in Nashville, Tenn. and spread throughout the entire South to challenge racial segregation and discriminatory voting laws.

Most people know about the remarkable actions of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and other famous Civil Rights activists, so this documentary was a freshly informative account of the young people that served as the driving force behind the Civil Rights Movement. These were the people out on the streets, beaten by angry mobs, and used their "peace training" to withstand the temptation of violent retaliation. Seeing the actual footage of young, brave African-American men and women endure threats, jeers, rejection, bombings and beatings to rouse the moral conscience of our nation is absolutely overwhelming.
The picture above is one of the Freedom Ride buses that seated blacks in the front and whites in the back that was bombed after leaving Atlanta.

The film highlighted the imperative involvement of black churches and integrated northern churches in the Civil Rights Movement. Churches were used to hold Civil Rights Meetings and the bodies of those churches reached out to the poor and oppressed black communities, providing education, support, hope, and protection best they could.

The second film, "Mississippi: Is This America?" showed interviews with white southern segregationists and the attempts of the "Citizen's Council" to put a halt to the Civil Rights Movements. Business owners, lawyers, police, bankers, and other powerful citizens joined together to punish whites that supported integration by refusing loans, closing and boycotting businesses, and making unjust arrests. Mississippi passed new voting laws to keep the black community from qualifying to vote.

The hatred and ignorance captured on film in these documentaries from segregationists is absolutely mind-blowing. The fact that this all unfolded less than fifty years ago is also unsettling. Watching the interviews with African-Americans that lived through this time, acquired their long overdue rights, and are still alive today to tell about it was especially moving. My fellow classmates and I had tears running down our faces as we listened to survivors recount the loss of their loved ones and the seemingly impossible obstacles overcome through faith, perseverance, and nonviolence.

These documentaries will be of great interest to those yearning to witness this epic era of American history and to any of the homeschooling moms out there with high school age kids. Most history must be read about because it occurred before the development of film. To be able to watch these video artifacts chronicling America's deliverance, or beginning of deliverance, from racial injustice is an enlightening opportunity that should not be passed up. It will make you squirm. It will make you cry. It will make you angry. It will make you grateful for the progress America has made. Most of all, it will allow you to get to know the stories of the every day people that became extraordinary by demonstrating the courage it takes to PEACEFULLY obtain justice, equality, and freedom for all.

Martin Luther King had a dream, and these documentaries tell the stories of those who were determined to make that dream a reality.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Freedom Writers Review

Freedom Writers is based on the true story of an idealistic, semi-naive teacher, Erin Gruwell, who obtains an English teaching position at a one-time prestigious high school in Los Angeles, but since the school adopted an "intergration" progam that buses in "undesirable" inner-city kids, the school has deterioted into chaos, replete with racism, self-segregation, gang violence, and hopeless teenagers who have fallen through the cracks of society.

Erin Gruwell, played by the lovely Hillary Swank, is given classroom 203, to "babysit" the troubled inner-city kids, without access to books or any other resources needed to properly educate students. Erin Gruwell makes huge sacrifices and utilizes unconventional methods to reach out to her troubled students. She struggles to unite her class by giving them a voice to tell their own stories through journaling.

The strength of this film lies in its committment to reality. The story line is based on the actual accounts recorded in the journals of classroom 203, which were published in 1999. Freedom Writers paints a compelling picture of the mindset harvested in young generations emmersed in the vicious cycle and tangled web of violence, drugs, poverty, racism, hatred, ignorance, and hopelessness. The film aims to tell the story of one brave woman who recognized the possibility of change, the pontential for peace, and the value of investing in the students the rest of the system had given up on. For that alone, it is worth watching.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Spirit Moves in Mysterious Ways

Soul Survivor: How Thirteen Unlikely Mentors Helped My Faith Survive The Church is written by Philip Yancey, the editor of Christianity Today and author of numerous books, including: The Jesus I Never Knew, What's So Amazing About Grace? and Disappointment With God. I read this book about a year ago, but picked it up again because of my recent musings concerning how "perfection" fits into the Christian life, how and to what extent do the imperfect fit into God's Kingdom, and the reality of messy spirituality that all believers are ravelled up in, whether they admit it or not.

Soul Survivor is one of my favorite books because it tells the compelling story of Philip Yancey, who said, "I spent most of my life in recovery from the church." He rejected Christianity after escaping his 1950s childhood "fundamentalist" church in Georgia, that blatantly embraced racism, sexism, and hatred. Yancey recounts the lives of thirteen unconventional public figures, some Christian and some not, who helped lead him back to faith.

The thirteen mentors that lead Philip Yancey back to faith include: Martin Luther King Jr., G.K. Chesterton, Dr. Paul Brand, Dr. Robert Coles, Leo Tolstoy, Feodor Dostoevsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. C. Everett Koop, John Donne, Annie Dillard, Fredrick Beuchner, Shusaku Endo, and Henri Nouwen.

Each chapter is devoted to one of his "mentors," humanizing their larger-than-life, often idealized personas, separating reality from legend, and honoring their lives without editing out their flaws. Yancey brilliantly conveys the work and lives of these men and women as he intertwines his own life into their remarkable stories.

Each unique examination of the eclectic mentors highlights the strengths and weaknesses of humanity, the mysterious paths faith can take a person, and God's ultimate grace and faithfulness constantly reaching out to every life.

The chapter on MLK was intriguing because of how it recounts Philip Yancey's own deliverance from racism. Yancey skillfully and somewhat frighteningly recreates the 1950s and 1960s racial landscape of the South. He recalls the divisions, the rhetoric, and the oppression ultimately overcome through nonviolence. Yancey also tells of MLK's personal struggles and weaknesses that are rarely mentioned in other works about him. I find this important, because those who have accomplished great things, tend to be immortalized, idealized, and have their humanity annihilated. The acknowledgment of imperfection, conflicts, and struggles reminds each of us that God uses the insufficient, the weak, and the flawed and yearns to use the rest of us that fall into those categories as well.

Other fascinating aspects of the book include the section on Dr. C. Everett Koop, the controversial pro-life Surgeon General under the Reagan Administration, who would not sacrifice honesty for the cause he believed so deeply in; Dr. Paul Brand, who wrote about the blessing of pain after witnessing the curse of the pain-free existence of leprosy victims; and Mahatma Gandhi, whose assertion of the disconnect between Christ and Christianity forced Yancey to look at faith in a whole different light.

There is an eye-opening and heart-wrenching chapter on Henri Nouwen (the wounded healer), the priest that worked among the poor and paralyzed, who struggled with homosexuality his entire life. Yancey highlights Nouwen's writings that ministered to many, while hinting at his own inner turmoil and weaknesses. This man took a vow of celibacy, and though at times was lonely, learned a deeper dependence on God and a love for the least, the lost, and the last of this world.

Soul Survivor is an honest account that teaches the lessons learned by the author and the thirteen people who guided him back to faith. It's a book that will inspire grace, challenge opinions, and reveal the presence of God in the midst of the most unlikely people and places.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Meet Scarlett

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the difference between dog and man."-Mark Twain

Well, the Pied Piper strikes again! Friday night, Will and I were on our way to a friend's house, out in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly, a dog ran in front of our car, stopped, and stared at us. She came running out of a driveway, so we figured she belonged to the house there. Only there was no house at the end of the driveway, but an old church. After taking a good look at her, it became unmistakably apparent that this tagless, collarless, malnourished dog was abandoned, been out on her own for too long and was starving to death. Our friends confirmed that dogs are abandoned all the time where they live because it's a remote area.

Despite my deeply held belief in nonviolence or alteast an Augustine-like "just war theory," if I ever found the person who would leave one of Gods' beautiful creatures to suffer such a slow, cruel, and painful death as starving alone in the wild, I'm pretty sure that there would be some violence involved. The following pictures do not even properly convey the extent of Scarlett's malnourished body.

I have never in my life seen such a skinny dog. Every rib and bone is protruding from her fatless body and her pelvic area is completely caved in. Obviously, we could not leave her to starve, so she hopped in our car, and off we went. After feeding her some dinner at our friends' house (that she devoured in a second flat), we took her back to our house. On the way, she leaned her head forward from the back seat, and placed it on my shoulder. It was as if she breathed a great sigh of relief. Jokingly, I said, "As God as my witness, I will never be hungry again!" Will, not up on 1930s movie classics lines, said, "What is that from?" So, I explained how Scarlett O'Hara was starving after the Yankees destroyed her home, farm, and all sources of food. She desperately digs in the dirt, trying to eat a root from the ground. Then in one of the most dramatic proclamations in cinema histroy, Scarlett declares that she will never be hungry again, not matter what she has to do. After telling the story, I looked at the sad, wasting-away dog in our backseat and said more seriously, "I promise, you'll never be hungry again." Will suggested that we call her Scarlett to seal our promise to her.

When we arrived home with Scarlett, we fixed up a huge bowl of dog food mixed with cheese and some meat (fatty foods are needed to get some weight on her). I swear to you, I saw that dog smile. We placed the food in front of her (probably the most food she as seen in months) and watched as she devoured it. There is nothing in the world like watching a creature that has been starved enjoy a simple meal. Satisfying physical hunger is one of the rare tangible spiritual expereinces.

So, Scarlett is currently taking up residence in our yellow room (the room between our kitchen and laundry room) because it is closed in, uncarpeted, and can be cleaned easily in case of accidents. We are going to see if the Humane Society will help us place her in a good home and also put her on Craig's List. We really cannot keep this one. She is very sweet tempered, and gets along with other dogs and children FANTASTICALLY. If anyone knows anyone who would like an approximately 7 or 8 year old dog to love, let me know.

So please pray we can find a good home for Scarlett and that we see through on our promise to never let her go hungry again.

For those of you who are in the same clueless boat, I bring to you one of the most famous scenes from Gone With The Wind. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Mystery Of The End Times

Segments of Christians since the time of Christ have believed that Jesus would surely return during their generation. Every generation of Christians has interpreted Scripture to align it with their present circumstances and political climate. Every "biblical" trick imagined has been contrived to set the date for Christ's return and to define precisely how the end times will unfold. This trend has become increasingly more embarrassing since the development of the printing press, which aided in widely spreading foolish, false predictions.

How many books claiming to know the when and how of the End Times need to be proven wrong before we stop buying them, or better yet, writing them? Books with titles like "Jesus 1994," or my personal favorites: "88 Reasons Jesus Is Coming Back In 1988" and "89 Reasons Jesus is Coming Back in 1989" (yup, when the first one proved to be wrong the SAME author added one reason and resold it under the latter title the following year!).

A plethora of reasons exist for all the crazy predictions: some honestly believed the current state of the world aligned with scripture and wanted to warn people, others probably got caught up in an faulty end times movement, and some others probably wanted to make a quick buck. Whatever the reason, I, for one, wish to see more caution from believers when proclaiming to have all the answers concerning end times....because nobody knows the specifics. We see "in part," as Paul would say, we know the gist of it, that Jesus is indeed going to return, that there will be an Antichrist, etc. etc.

When I was a teenager, I started reading The Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. They are intriguing fiction novels that speculate how the end times will unfold. Recently, I was unsettled while watching an interview with the two authors of the Christian mega-hits. Apparently, while the characters and their roles in the stories are meant to be purely fictional, how the specific circumstances of the rapture, Antichrist, tribulation, and second coming unfold in the books are all suppose to be completely accurate. Now, I believe in Scripture, I believe in the end times, and I believe that these authors are godly and sincere. However, whenever ANYONE claims to have answered the “who, what, when, where, and how” of the end times, a red flag goes up.

While the date-setters win the most annoying award, they are not the ones that really concern me. It’s the teachers who map out EXACTLY and PRECISELY the events, circumstances, countries, leaders, and appearances of the End Times. It's rather alarming because I’m pretty sure they are wrong (not because I think I have the right interpretation of the End Times, but because I have no clue how it will all unfold). I believe the end times will be completely conducive with Scripture, but I don’t think it’s going to play out the way any of us think it will, and it definitely is not going to LOOK how any of us think it will. God has the habit of giving us prophesy that foretells or warns of future events, then we humans have a tendency of fusing our own interpretations and theories to those prophesies, unable to separate our possible analysis from absolute Scriptural truth.

Take Christ's first coming, for example. God’s chosen people, the Jews, were given hundreds of prophesies concerning the coming of the Messiah, hundreds of years in advance. What happened? They analyzed and interpreted Scripture, concocting and sealing the image of a grandiose powerful political reformer that would physically lead a revolt against the governing powers that oppressed God's chosen people. To them, this was conducive with scriptural prophesies and the times they lived in. It was the most likely and sensible scenario for the Messiah. But when the Messiah emerged as a poor carpenter’s son, from parents with a questionable background, growing up in the slums of Nazareth, preaching about peace, loving our enemies, and the hypocrisy of the religious, whose friends were tax collectors, prostitutes, and uneducated fishermen, whose throne would be a criminal’s Cross, the Jews could NOT reconcile this Jesus with their preconceived notions of the Messiah! They could not reconcile Christ with their own interpretations of the Scriptures.

Now, I’ve heard some scoff, “oh it’s so clear, how could they have missed it?” But we shouldn't be too cocky, because we are doing the same thing with end times prophecy. We speculate, analyze, interpret, and flat out guess how it will be and then present it as fact. Over the years, we have drawn up and espoused pretty specific lay outs of what the end times will look like and how it will unfold. It’s all very sensible, mind you; it lines up just right with our current events and our view of Scripture. But we shouldn't be so hasty in carving those sensible interpretations into stone.

For anyone who has read the The Silver Chair in the Chronicles of Narnia series, there is a very telling scene between Aslan (the Jesus figure) and Jill Poll, right before He sends her down to Narnia on a quest.

“Remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of night. And whatever strange things happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. Secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. The signs which you have learned will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances”Aslan (Silver Chair, 25-26).

I think this passage is very relevant to our dealings with eschatology (the study of end times). Are we clinging to the signs in scripture that we, by definition, do not fully understand? Or are we clinging to the interpretations that make the most sense to us now? Do we have enough faith to still follow if the end-times unfold differently then we expect? Will we be taken in by anyone coming in Jesus' name because we've already carved out the image of the Antichrist?

I am not denying that some current events are indeed the "birth pangs" of the end times, but none of us know how long the intervals between such birth pangs will be, or how the "baby" will look when it is born. Speculations are fine and interesting, but we should take care, lest we paint ourselves a false end times picture and fall prey to "the great falling away" or "the many believers that will be deceived" in the last days. I have heard some Christians proclaim the Antichrist will be a raging secular-humanistic atheist. Does that fit with scripture's description of the Antichrist(s) that will come in Jesus' name and be able to perform signs and wonders. Does that sound like any secular humanist that denies the existence of the miraculous that you know of? Is it possible the Antichrist will come in sheep's clothing, infiltrating the church? I have no idea, but I know we need to keep our eyes open to all possibilities, so we are not deceived.

Jesus warns believers to be careful and not to be deceived in the last days (Luke 21:7-9) . We should read the signs of the time, but let’s not inflame them, stretch them, and sometimes flat out make them up. The end times may not unfold how many of us imagine. If we hold onto specific speculations more than the mysterious scripture, we may not recognize the true beginning of it all. We may be in danger of deception. We could be setting massive amounts of people up for disappointment and despair.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Favorite Quotes

You come of the Lord Adam and Lady Eve. That is both honor enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar and shame enough to bow the shoulders the greatest emperor on earth. Be content.”--Aslan

"God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunities and lives. And God is with us, if we are with them."-Bono

“I do not believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”--Galileo

"The devil has two horns: the horn of pride that says there is nothing we ought to do, and the horn of despair that says there is nothing we can do."- unknown

"Christianity is not called to conservatism, but to change. Jesus came into the world, not to conserve the system that was, but to change the world into what it ought to be."-Tony Campolo

"He who fights monsters must take care lest he become a monster. When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you." - Friedrich Nietzsche

“Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil.”-Elie Wiesel

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.--Mother Teresa

“The test of our progress is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much. It is whether we provide enough to those who have little.”-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"A breaking heart in an empty room was the loudest sound I never heard."- The Submarines

"I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill."- Gandhi

"If I am honest I'm rebelling against my own indifference. I am rebelling against the idea that the world is the way the world is and there's not a damned thing I can do about it. So I'm trying to do some damned thing."-Bono

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."-C. S. Lewis

"Jesus in this song You wrote, the words are sticking in my throat, 'Peace on Earth, Peace on Earth."-Bono

"An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind."-Mahatma Gandhi

"Some men see things that are and ask 'why?' I dream things that never were and ask 'why not?'"

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."-
Martin Luther King Jr.

"You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body."-C. S. Lewis

"If you want to serve the age, betray it."- Brendan Kennelly

"Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will. Slavery was one of them and the people who best served that age were the ones who called it as it was--which was ungodly and inhuman. Ben Franklin called it what it was when he became president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. Segregation. There was another one. America sees this now, but it took a civil rights movement to betray their age. And 50 years ago the U.S. Supreme Court betrayed the age May 17, 1954, Brown vs. Board of Education came down and put the lie to the idea that separate can ever really be equal. Amen to that. Fast forward 50 years. May 17, 2004. What are the ideas right now worth betraying? What are the lies we tell ourselves now? What are the blind spots of our age?"- Bono

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent."-Gandhi

"An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law."-MLK

"Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create." -Pope John Paul II

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."-Martin Luther King Jr.

"The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life."- John F. Kennedy

"Jesus reserved his hardest words for the hidden sins of hypocrisy, pride, greed and legalism." --Philip Yancey

"It's not enough to rage against the lie.. you've got to replace it with the truth."-Bono

"Throughout the Bible, God shows a marked preference for "real" people over "good" people." Phillip Yancey

"When all think alike, no one is thinking very much" -Walter Lippmann

"The important thing is never to stop questioning."-Albert Einstein

"Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person."-Mother Teresa

"It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err."-Mahatma Gandhi

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?"-Abraham Lincoln

"Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man."-Mahatma Gandhi

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."-Gandhi

"The problem is not somebody putting faith into action. The problem is when they name the faith and don't put it into action."-Jim Wallis

"A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."-Oscar Wilde

“There was never a good war or a bad peace.”-Benjamin Franklin

“Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness."-Eleanor Roosevelt

"Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remain standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it."-Pope John Paul II

"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example."-Mark Twain

"Do just once what others say you can't do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again."-James R. Cook

"Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create."-Pope John Paul II

"At a certain point, God is not looking for alms, God is looking for action."-Bono

"It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma."-Bono

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."-Martin Luther King Jr.

"To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it."-Martin Luther King Jr.

"Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our piety, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment."-Bono

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."-Abraham Lincoln

"I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice."-
Abraham Lincoln