Richard Land is president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Princeton (A.B., magna cum laude) and Oxford (D.Phil.) educated, Dr. Richard Land has headed the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since 1988.
Roy Herron is a State Senator from Tennessee covering the 24th distract. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with highest honors, Roy studied New Testament and ethics in Scotland as a Rotary Scholar, then became one of Vanderbilt University’s first two joint divinity and law graduates.
Interesting interview yesterday featuring a spokesperson from CAIR discussing recent survey results that show the Muslim vote trending Democratic. Good to see that his quick departure from Dancing with the Stars hasn’t dampened Tucker’s ability to imply that Muslims are terrorists…
“Our spirit (ru’ach) lives in our breath (ru’ach), is our breath. The Kabbalah says that when two people are talking together and their faces are so close they inhale the other’s breath, they are sharing souls. According to Hasidism, our souls are too vast to inhabit our bodies; they penetrate and surround them.”
Xpatriated Texan points out that, “We’re two weeks out from the election. People are dying to make sure you can vote, you owe it to them to give up half an hour to exercise your rights.”
Even the Devil’s Believe writes about the “New Atheism.” He point out: “Wired has an interesting article up called “Battle of the New Atheism” — it’s their cover story for November. The author, Gary Wolf, looks into the “evangelical atheism” of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and others who believe that religion must be eradicated and replaced with a cult of reason.”
Reflecting on Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God, Velvateen Rabbi writes that, “her story demonstrates that binary distinction isn’t always the most useful way to talk about religious identity in today’s world.”
It’s been many moons since I spoke of the faith based initiatives (and I don’t mean Iraq, Afghanistan, civil liberties, etc.). I feared that it would be a program that was designed to become corrupt (plausible deniability), but I had no idea it was designed to be corrupt, to subvert the very basis of the American system of governance. However, after 6 years of watching as the people in power rule by fiat, and spit upon what it means to be American, I am not surprised.
What conservatives really meant was that questions about a judicial nominee’s position on abortion amount to discrimination based on religious beliefs. That is nonsense. In a pluralistic democracy, it is not sufficient for a public official to base a position purely on religious teachings; he must bring other arguments to bear that are accessible to those who do not share their tradition. And, in fact, Alito and Roberts do not cite Catholic teaching in their judicial opinions. To claim that opposition to a judicial nominee is, ipso facto, religious discrimination is patently false. And it is deeply offensive to those men and women who have truly been persecuted for their faith throughout history, and who continue to suffer in areas around the globe.
In his New York Times review of Andrew Sullivan’s book, The Conservative Soul, David Brooks salutes Sullivan’s attention to the religious tradition in conservative ideology. But then Brooks goes further:
“the United States was not founded on the basis of custom, but by the assertion of a universal truth — that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain rights. The United States is a creedal nation, and almost every significant movement in American history has been led by people calling upon us to live up to our creed. In many cases, the people making those calls were religious leaders. From Jonathan Edwards to the abolitionists to the civil rights leaders to the people fighting AIDS and genocide in Africa today, religiously motivated people have been active in public life. They have been, in their certainty and their willingness to apply divine truths, fundamentalists — if we want to use Sullivan’s categories. You take those people out of American politics and you don’t have a country left.”
Whoa? Is fundamentalism fundamental to the American experiment? Perhaps if “creed” and “fundamental” come to mean our hope in the future, but then can progressive philosophies of justice and peace exist without grounding in common creed, and will the real fundamentalists ever care?
As more moderate politicians and less ideological policies gain momentum this November, I wonder: beyond hope and anger, where lies the best common ground that converts all American faith into good works?