Last night, Faith in Public Life advisory board member Kathleen Kennedy Townsend appeared as a guest on The Colbert Report to discuss her new book, Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way. Kathleen explained how the Right has tried to “shrink God” by reducing religious focus to a narrow platform of same-sex marriage, abortion and stem cell research and how we must instead pursue the common good. Her rapid run-down of the names of all 10 of her brothers and sister ain’t bad either — nearly matching the speed at which Colbert does the same for his own 10 Catholic siblings.
This video is about an hour long, which will take a commitment to watch, but it will be well-worth your time if you’re interested in the long view of what’s going on with market economies, faith and social movements in the world these days.
Paul Hawken on The Great Transformation
Video from the Long Now Foundation – San Francisco, CA
The title of Paul Hawken’s talk, "The New Great Transformation," has two referents. Economist Karl PolanyiÂ’s 1944 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, said that the "market society" and modern nation state emerged together in Europe after 1700 and divided society in ways that have yet to be healed.
Karen Armstrong’s 2006 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, explores "the Axial Age" between 800 and 200 BC when the world’s great religions and philosophies first took shape. They were all initially social movements, she says, acting on revulsion against the violence and injustice of their times.
Both books describe conditions in which "the future is stolen and sold to the present," said Hawken – a situation we are having to deal with yet again
With the SCHIP doom — Bush chooses big tobacco over children’s health — and Gonzalez’s false testimony, there’s not much else to do this week but pray. . .which is precisely what PastorDan is doing all over the blogosphere. Now he’s making me almost believe the old culture war meme about these fervent faith-types barnstorming the left. . .what’s going to happen next, actual metanoia?
Mr. O’Reilly, I take the Bible seriously. I am a Christian disciple committed to growth in love of the Lord and my neighbor. I am even committed, God help me, to learning to love my enemy. I don’t represent everyone at Daily Kos, let alone the entire liberal blogosphere: that little asterisk after “pray” signifies that not all of us believe in God, but we can all meditate or hold someone in our thoughts. In that sense, if you were to take the time to get to know us, you’d find that I’m a lot closer to representative than not.
And then apparently he enjoyed it so much (and the 300 plus comments!) that he offered up another supplication over at Street Prophets.
Speaking of the hail Mary. . .Diana Bulter Bass faces Michael Vick off against Gregory of Nyssa. She writes:
In her recent book, The Frontiers of Justice, philosopher Martha Nussbaum points out that Jews and Christians practice ethics of compassion for animals, but that these ethics are incomplete–that “cruel and oppressive treatment of animals raises issues of justice.â€ Nussbaum insists, “not only that it is wrong of us to treat them that way, but also that they have a right, a moral entitlement, not to be treated in that way. It is unfair to them.â€ (Emphasis hers.)
And finally, rounding out the prayer theme Unitarian-Universalist blogger Philocrites points to a Rob Hardies quote:
We need a spirituality that moves us beyond fight and flight, one that sees complexity not as an enemy but as a friend. We need a spirituality that views paradox as a creative opportunity and contradiction as a stimulant
Okay, I’ll pray for more of that. . .and while you’re at it, send some o’ that for BillO too, dear God!
I actually enjoyed myself. Mr. O’Reilly was surprisingly pleasant to me (must have been the collar and not wanting to yell at a minister), and I was able to make my points, even as he was talking over me. I wanted listeners to know that sex education in the younger years was about such sexuality topics as bodies, family roles, gender roles, sex abuse prevention — and that it set a foundation for education in upper school. I wanted people to know that parents, schools, and religious institutions all have a role to play in sexuality education, and that religious denominations support public school sex education.