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February 28, 2006

Comments

Brad Anderson

I've been surprised at Byrd's support for such policies, and I'm glad to see him changing his mind.

On the TD Jakes thing, I don't know enough about him to hazard and opinion on his ministry (I'm still uncomfortable with mega-churches), but I think the last line of the article pretty well sums up the book: the author's a sociologist, not a church historian, and has written for mass appeal. Not the most credible approach.

zero

byrd's votes are no surprise. he's everfighting for the ultra conservative vote in west virginia to stay in office as he wishes to become the senate's longest serving member. his yes vote for alito demonstrates this as was his vote for impeachment of clinton. he's appeasing, not following principle. how very convenient to offer regret long after the fact.

as for not liking bush as opposed to not approving of his policies, it would appear one can reasonably react in both ways to this man. first person accounts of interactions with this man indicates he's not very likable. according to washington grunts, agency workers who are there long after and before changing adminstrations have suggested there are no policies with this bunch. just taking care of their rich buddies in the rove-mode that never ends.

given the numbers on bush/cheney approval, chuck's friend's assessment doesn't seem to be hyperbole in the least.

jerry

Ah Zero, Imitatio Christi requires us to not only like, but love Bush (the person that is) :@) I don't think this has to apply to his policies however...

As for approval ratings - they are pretty much like "polls" and don't mean much to me. One should not need to ask others to determine what one's opinion is/should be.

zero

i have respect for all life on this earth.
that doesn't mean i have to like all life on this earth.
and i don't love everyone.
nope.
and that's that.
approval ratings and polls serve different functions.

chuck

Good comments, Jerry. This is why I noted that I rarely link approval ratings. However, in this case, given the explicit attempts to bring them up, I felt it was worth a quick read. They do give some impression, at least, of how the pres's agenda is faring. In this case, I am glad it is not faring well for many of the reasons we have visited before.

chuck

Hey, Zero, you snook that one in there....:>)

zero

they were flying in for a landing at the same time, chuck.
:@>

as for liking bush or not liking bush, i have no personal feelings for that person or anyone else i have never met. i can, however, access action and disapprove heartily, especially of one who "works" for me!

chuck

I understand what you are saying, Zero, and I understand Jerry's post as well. He is reminding us that Jesus commands us to love others as we love ourselves, and, hard as it may be, the paradigmatic case is love of enemy. Not an easy thing.....for any of us.

zero

if we are to love others as self, that can mean that one is willing to do whatever is necessary for another. even those we don't "like" can be someone we would rescue in time of need, great or small. that is love. for me, i won't pretend to like or love everyone because i don't and it's a big lie to say otherwise. but i would help anyone. and that means anyone.

chuck

This past Sunday, I started a series of three reflections on this from Scripture. See what you think as it unfolds:>)

Matt

I guess it depends on your definition of "love." I find that many people I talk to have let this word be taken over by those who have lost a heartily Trinitarian-Christian definition.

Philip  Koplin

If God wants me to love Hitler, I'd like to know why. Why not just blast the swine and send him off the cliff? What does it mean to love other like self if other is a genocidal maniac and self is not?

chuck

Well, Philip, you've picked the extreme example, but all are different than "us." I think the point of Jesus' injunction is to make the point that our love for other must be characterized by a self-giving that goes beyond loving those "like me." Why? Because this is what it takes to imitate a God who is characterized as "while we were yet God's enemies, he sent his Son for us." I realize you don't buy into this, but hopefully, you can see how it makes sense to those who do. By the way, thanks for your very kind email. I meant to send you a note back, but am a tad behind at the moment. Sorta like the butcher who backed into his meat grinder--he got a little behind in his orders:>)

zero

that's a groaner, chuck....

philip's point is well taken.
but when someone yucky is finally "caught" like this abramhoff or saddam or brownie of fema, i actually feel sorry for them. not to the point that i'm distracted from their need to be held accountable but that i do feel for them recognizes their humanity.

Philip  Koplin

Chuck

God so loved Hitler that he sent his son to suffer for him. Therefore if I am to imitate God, I must be willing to so love Hitler that I would give up my life for him? What would Bonhoeffer say?

chuck

Yes, Zero, I know what you mean. also, I would not say that loving someone means excusing their bad behavior.
Philip, I can tell you exactly what Bonhoeffer would say, because in this case, I've read on it a little. He would say that we live in a world where we do not always have choices between good and evil; sometimes we only have choices between degrees of evil. In the case of Hitler, B felt that his love for all those who would be damaged by Hitler had to overshadow his love for his enemy, Hitler.

zero

but that's still not loving hitler, chuck.
i don't know that i would give my life for just anyone. does god expect this just because he gave us his ultimate sacrifice? i never understood it as such.

Philip  Koplin

It's one thing to say that God loves even someone who curses him, and that we should love that person as well, for even if that person is the vilest of creatures, he is still a creature of God's; and another to say that God loves even someone who curses him by committing the worst of crimes, so that, for example, God wanted people in concentration camps to love the guard who was murdering their children before their eyes. I realize that in South Africa for example there have been amazing instances of reconciliation between the victims of violence and its perpetrators. But that is a personal choice, and to say that people who refuse to make it are going counter to the will of God seems cruel (though of course that doesn't mean it isn't true).

zero

it is cruel, philip. and doesn't seem to be just either.

from a purely clinical perspective, some humans are not whole psychologically. just as some are born without limbs or are blind or have down's syndrome, some have no capacity to feel even if it appears that they do. they cannot put themselves into the place of another, thereby experiencing what it might mean to another to be treated miserably in all ways great and small. clinically they are called sociopaths or psychopaths but i don't think that fully describes just how NON-human they are. there are, also, degrees to which persons are non-human. gwbush would be one, so would hitler. they have not the same soullessness but they are both thusly. (it's great to talk to a fellow contrarian)

chuck

Zero, why is it not loving Hitler? (not arguing yet, just seeing where we need to go:>)) Also, why not just?
Philip, I am not sure why that would be cruel. I am not suggesting, for example, that everyone that disappoints God is, therefore, condemned by God. I suspect that all of us fail in one way or another. Yet, I find it odd that we would deny this as the ideal toward which God aims, especially since we largely agree that one who can do this is worthy of praise, etc.

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