Tag: Religion

Buddhism, Secularism, and Socialism

 

Two weeks ago, I decided it was time to give away the meditation mats and cushions that I had originally purchased for the meditation group I led. (As many of you know, I practiced Buddhism for over 20 years, and broke with my teacher several years ago. I also re-discovered my love for Judaism, and that is where I find myself now.)

I remembered that there was a Zen center about an hour away from here, and wrote them an email, asking if they would like my cushions and mats. They were delighted. When the representative came to pick them up, he asked if I knew a fellow at their center. As it happens, this fellow, a very nice man, had practiced at the same center in San Diego where I had practiced. We’ve agreed to have a phone conversation.

In the meantime, that contact stirred up many painful memories about my former teacher and my relationship with her. The teacher/student relationship is an intimate one, and we had known each other for many years. Unfortunately, the deeper I explored my practice and pursued my path to becoming a teacher, the more toxic the relationship became. Ultimately her demands were more than I was willing to meet, and I ended it.

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Until recently, a manageable level of tension has existed between the secularists in Israel, who dominate the population, and the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Although these tensions may seem completely different from the secular/religious tensions in the United States, I’m suggesting that the Israelis, as they propose a way to bridge the gap between these two groups, […]

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Should we be worried? From ScreenRant:  According to data analytics firm Parrot Analytics, Lucifer was the most in-demand digital original in the United States in May – by a substantial margin. In fact, it was also the #2 comic book adaptation, only beaten by The Flash.  Preview Open

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Bharatiya Janata Party Alliance Wins Indian Election in Landslide

 

India’s 2019 federal election was called on May 23, with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its allies winning an increased majority of 350 out of 543 seats in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. The BJP won 300 seats itself, which means that they will not need to govern in coalition, but have enough seats to form Government in their own right.

This is what the results look like on a map (BJP+ is of course saffron):

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In her latest podcast, D.C. McAllister (@dcmcallister) speaks of her recent experiences on Twitter and calls for conservatives to carry on the fight in the culture war. Conservatives must never back down against the left’s relentless assault on marriage, the family, religion, and other traditional institutions that are the bedrock of America’s greatness. Preview Open

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How My Political Views Helped Me Grow Spiritually

 

I think most politically involved Christians would say that their politics are influenced by their faith. This is true for me, as well; however, I’ve realized recently that the opposite is also true: my growing political views have actually helped me to grow as a Christian.

Even from childhood, I’ve often been a judgmental Christian. I have a history of being hard on myself and others. I remember being very upset with my parents one Sunday because we weren’t going to go back to church for the evening service; weren’t we supposed to be there every time the doors were open? I also nearly broke down in tears once because my sister was talking about buying a two-piece bathing suit.

How Many Polar Bears Can Dance on the Tip of an Iceberg?

 

Photo Credit: Alan D. Wilson, October 2007, Polar Bears (Cubs), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is acting as the face for the Justice Democrats’ Green New Deal, Dianne Feinstein is confronted by terror-stricken children and their indoctrination handlers, women in first world countries are declaring that they will forgo child-bearing in the face of impending environmental collapse, Mayor DeBlasio is mandating “Meatless Monday” menus in NYC public schools in order to combat Climate Change… Wherever you turn, the Left have whipped up their Eco-Marxist rhetoric to an absolute froth. And I, for one, have had enough.

Nation’s Music Ministers Yet Again Downcast When Jesus’ Wondrous Love Fails to Lift Dreadful Curse of Daylight Saving Time

 

The classic American hymn “Wondrous Love,” first published in 1811 during the second Great Awakening, proclaims, “What wondrous love is this, / That caused the Lord of bliss / To bear the dreadful curse / For my soul.” The nation’s music ministers awoke this morning once more disappointed to discover that the dreadful curse Jesus bears for us so we don’t have to doesn’t include Daylight Saving Time.

“‘Wondrous Love’ is a great Lenten hymn,” mumbled Elmer Morgan, organist at Parkhurst Methodist, over his fourth cup of coffee, “So it’s always disheartening to realize Lent after Lent that Jesus’ wondrous love doesn’t extend to lifting the curse of Daylight Saving Time from our souls.” Down the street at Spiritstone Reformed, the worship band reportedly slammed multiple energy drinks before the main service, noting forlornly that no outpouring of the Holy Spirit had made up for that one lost hour of sleep. Only bassist Chas Tietze abstained from energy-drink consumption, “But that’s only because,” drummer Mark Lorenzo observed, “He can play these sets in his sleep, and frequently does.”

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This is part of an ongoing series.  You can read the first part here. For a long time people have thought the greatest of all rivals to Nationalism is Imperialism. But was it really? Instead of a being a rival Imperialism for most of history was more of a manager and transformer of Nationalism not […]

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The Demise of Moral Relativism – and Its Consequences

 

The claims of moral relativism have been the bane of modern society as it has risen in popularity. Its origins started centuries ago, but as Progressivism has continued to dominate the Democrat party, it has paradoxically forecast its own death — and deadly consequences for American society. How has that happened and where will it lead us?

So that we’re all on the same page, let me provide a definition of moral relativism. Here’s one:

Moral relativism has steadily been accepted as the primary moral philosophy of modern society, a culture that was previously governed by a ‘Judeo-Christian’ view of morality. While these ‘Judeo-Christian’ standards continue to be the foundation for civil law, most people hold to the concept that right or wrong are not absolutes, but can be determined by each individual. Morals and ethics can be altered from one situation, person, or circumstance to the next. Essentially, moral relativism says that anything goes, because life is ultimately without meaning. Words like “ought” and “should” are rendered meaningless. In this way, moral relativism makes the claim that it is morally neutral.

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[This quotation speaks to the differences between the British (1640) and American Revolutions, compared to the French (1789) and Russian (1917) Revolutions] The difference was that the British and American revolutions, led by the Puritans, were inspired by the Hebrew Bible. The French and Russian revolutions were inspired by philosophy. Rousseau’s in the first, Karl […]

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     I recently read the book “Decision Making and the Will of God (25th Anniversary Edition)” by Garry Friesen.  I enjoyed this book very much and I think that it is an important book that all Christians should read.  Here is a summary of a few of the major points made in the book, and […]

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Racism Is Alive and Well

 

Saying that black Americans can’t be racist because they are an oppressed group has never been acceptable to me. You only need to look at the history of the Black Hebrew Israelites to realize that racism against white people not only exists, but it is overt, ugly and frightening. This is the group that harassed the teenagers at the March for Life.

Glenn Beck did some research on the Black Hebrew Israelites group:

Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1886. A former railroad worker named Frank Cherry established the Church of the Living God, the Pillar and Ground of Truth for All Nations. Yes, that was the full church name. He mixed together elements of Judaism and Christianity and believed that African Americans were descendants of the original tribes of Israel. He preached that these Israelite ancestors were chased out of Babylon into central and western Africa, where they were eventually sold into slavery by the Romans. He preached that Adam, Eve, and Jesus were black. Cherry also preached that whites are inherently evil and hated by God.

Ave Maria: Venerating the Brave Virgin, and her Consent

 

Warning: Including some crass humor in the description of a Great Christian Mystery is intended to drive home just how extraordinary a woman Mary must have been, as well as the extraordinary — indeed quite odd — nature of the mystery involved.

Ave Maria, gratia plena… Hail Mary, full of grace… These words, whether set to the sumptuous music of Biebl’s much-beloved one-hit wonder, sung to another tune, or simply spoken, will ring out through many a church today, the last Sunday of Advent, the last caravanserai parishioners pause at before reaching Bethlehem itself, and the Word Made Flesh.

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For some Jews, the Passover or Pesach holiday in the Spring is one of the most treasured of all the Jewish holidays. The celebration of G-d’s freeing the Jews from the Egyptians is called “seder,” which means “order.” In part, the name suggests that a particular order is followed for this meal at this auspicious […]

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I am currently reading Jonah Goldberg’s “Suicide of the West” and Patrick Deneen’s “Why Liberalism Failed” for a doctoral class. Finding myself about halfway through the former I had the following review retweeted into my timeline this morning and it held exactly the critique of Goldberg’s thesis that was digging at me. I want to […]

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Once again, a lot of time, effort, and money has been spent trying to resolve an issue which shouldn’t be an issue in the first place: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/08/31/todd-starnes-texas-cheerleaders-win-victory-for-freedom-religious-expression-praise-lord.html Preview Open

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I’m Not Catholic – So Why Should It Matter to Me?

 

My personal spiritual journey had more hiccups than a newborn. While my family, with traditional ties to Catholicism, was influential in planting a Christian seed, growing up in the crazy ’60s, ’70s, ’80s made anything traditional not my bag. By the third grade, my dad bought me a little turntable that resembled a red suitcase and several Beatles albums (along with Alvin and the Chipmunks) – my first intro to rock and roll – and then as I got older, cough … all the rest…

I considered myself a “modern” Christian, i.e., more spiritual than religious, and fell down every spiritual rabbit hole there was. I read about Eastern religions, New Age, visited multiple denominational churches, but was never that committed. As I grew older, I realized I didn’t really have a spiritual foundation. In my case, it took a health crisis to realize I had nothing. The “Universe” wasn’t going to save me, nor the Buddha, or any other spiritual “wisdom” I gleaned from all those cool New Age bookstores, with the ear candles, patchouli and rose incense, and sections on whatever spiritual flavor of the day caught your attention.

I found myself in the hospital very sick, without a diagnosis. While I was hurling into a pan and they were wheeling me off for more x-rays, I started bargaining with Jesus, God, and Holy Mother Mary to get me out of there alive and I would change my ways. A priest came through during my 16+ day hospital stay and asked if I was Catholic. I lied and said yes. He prayed with me for my wellness several times and left me tracts that I clung onto for hope. That became the turning point.

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One topic that is being talked about often among the intellectual dark web is the relationship between religion and morality. Ben Shapiro argues that non-religious morality can only be developed to a limited extent. Sam Harris argues that we can derive our morality without reference to a deity or a Holy book. The discussion of […]

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