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Are Christian Zionists Doing Israel any favors?

September 23, 2011

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A question: Does “pro-Israel” equal “anti-Palestinian”? Must we always bow before the blustering Benjamin Netanyahu, bent as he is on “creating facts” by building more Israeli settlements? It seems the answer for one presidential candidate, Rick Perry, is an unequivocal yes: “As a Christian, I have a clear directive to support Israel. So from my perspective, it’s pretty easy. Both as an American, and as a Christian, I am going to stand with Israel.” Israel is always right; the Palestinians are always wrong. It goes without saying that the United States should veto any Palestinian application for statehood in the UN. Perry is echoing the theology of Christian Zionist John Hagee, the head of Christians United for Israel.

How intriguing. One survey suggests that Perry is more “Zionist” than most Israeli’s, 70 percent of whom believe their nation should accept the decision if the UN recognizes a Palestinian state. Perhaps they remember that modern Zionism began as a secular movement and that the United Nations foresaw both Palestinian and Jewish nations in the 1940’s. Perhaps they see the impracticality and immorality of oppressing legitimate Palestinian rights. Perhaps they remember that their own forefather, Abraham, was once a “stranger” in the Promised Land.

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Socially approved cheap shots

May 28, 2011

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One wonders: Is anti-Catholicism the last permitted prejudice? Sample the approved and publicly flaunted ignorance of the facts. Recently, 75 Catholic academics signed a letter criticizing House Speaker John Boehner for his legislative record on alleviating poverty. Left-handed compliments came swift and sure, with the Syracuse Post Standard Editorial Board providing a sample: “It is a welcome change to see a Roman Catholic politician challenged for a position on an issue other than abortion.”

These routine inaccuracies are getting boring. The US Catholic hierarchy took the side of the labor unions in Wisconsin; the bishops wrote a letter to Congress in general to remember the “least of these;” they published a Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church in 2005, very little of which dwelled on abortion and much of which implies radical societal change. And then there are all those soup kitchens and hospitals and charities and … Never mind. Doesn’t matter. See no good; hear no good. We’ll throw our cheap shots left and right because people wearing red drapes make easy targets.

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Warped thinking and a double-dare

April 2, 2011

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You finally did it. You realized your dream and leaped the “brave” leap. Your fellowship sneaked in the Qur’an burning while we weren’t looking and word spread to the Muslim world. Riots erupted in Afghanistan and several now lay dead. Dozens are injured. But please, don’t forget to make that next, crucially “brave” step. Do it for us and for you. I dare you. The world is watching.

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If only I had the guts to say what needs to be said …

March 30, 2011

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My problem: I’m all mush, an absolute coward. I’d stand my ground if I were really courageous. I’d emphasize how all sides push us over the intellectual cliff when they type-cast each other.

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Life in the Spirit Verses Dead Religion

March 23, 2011

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The title of Jessica Mokrzycki March 3rd “Ascending The Hills” blog has my head spinning: “Lose Your Religion and Find God.” She quotes Thomas Merton, the late Trappist monk, who says contemplative prayer is not escape but engagement. I’d love to plow that theme, but I’m riveted on the title. I can’t escape. It’s captured me. It’s the scalpel clearing my cataracts. I now see the gulf between living Christianity and mildewed Churchianity.

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Thinkers thinking the formerly unthinkable …

February 19, 2011

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Wow. The moral high ground is actually more practical. Something to think about.

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Watch Out. The Impossible Could Be Possible

February 16, 2011

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Hear the imperative once more: Smile boldly. Cuddle up. Nuzzle and snuggle in a bear-hug frenzy of interfaith empathy and love. Let’s be so cotton-candy sweet we spread acne and cavities … Mi casa tu casa …”

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A letter to the Egyptians: Keep proving me wrong

February 12, 2011

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Dear Egyptian People: I hereby admit it. You astonished me. I didn’t think you’d pull it off. Skeptical me could only imagine a grim display in an ugly future … You can even make fun of my continuing worries in this blog’s comments. I’d love to be a laughing stock …

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No Such Thing as a “Muslim World”

November 18, 2010

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The phrase “the Muslim world” inaccurately implies that Muslims are in some separate location and that they are a monolith. Muslims, however, are not segregated in one part of the globe. Muslims live in many different communities, including right here in America. In America Muslims are part and parcel of my town, owners of businesses where I shop, colleagues at work, public servants in government, members of the military which protects us.

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When Values Plop

October 1, 2010

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Our culture’s weary rivals are lining up in my inbox like scarred, fatigued warriors. One side sees everything through the prism of “traditional family values.” The other brays open-mindedness and brands its opponents as intellectual Neanderthals. Both are reading from a stump speech worn out several elections ago.

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