Pastor Dan at Street Prophets catches the hypocrisy of Pat Robertson, who’s apparently not going to win any humanitarian awards. Also, great collection of stats on the conflict. “Lebanese economists have cut growth forecasts to zero or below from 5-6 percent. Some say the economy could shrink by 2-3 percent, with the tourism sector particularly hard hit.” Yeah, that’ll drive out the terrorists!
David Buckley’s got a good Boston Globe cartoon on Lieberman over at Faith in Public Life.
For “Moore” Lieberman hilarity catch JSpot.
Michelle, of Metacentricies, posts an interesting round up of environmental and tech news . Check out the link to the Washington Post on Cheney’s wacky comments about the majority of Americans supporting al Qaeda.
If you are interested in some possible US gov. repercussions of the Hezbollah-Israeli conflict catch Sy Hersh in the current New Yorker. Money quote:
Some current and former intelligence officials who were interviewed for this article believe that Rumsfeld disagrees with Bush and Cheney about the American role in the war between Israel and Hezbollah. The U.S. government consultant with close ties to Israel said that “there was a feeling that Rumsfeld was jaded in his approach to the Israeli war.” He added, “Air power and the use of a few Special Forces had worked in Afghanistan, and he tried to do it again in Iraq. It was the same idea, but it didn’t work. He thought that Hezbollah was too dug in and the Israeli attack plan would not work, and the last thing he wanted was another war on his shift that would put the American forces in Iraq in greater jeopardy.”
Always musing and Catholic, Even the Devils Believe reflects on reasons for war. “I guess the question is whether pacifism is a principled position or just a rhetorical one,” he wonders.
Radical Torah posts on Lebanon Through the Lens of Tisha B’Av. And Islamicate notes a Newsweek article about how Jews deserted Lieberman.
The Shalom Center lists Ten Ways to Save the Lives of Abraham’s Children.
Reverend Mommy posts about working on the CPE.
If you are interested in the politics of the Anglican communion, be sure to read Father Jake Stops the World. He reprints a recent Coats article from Episcopal Majority. He’s got 58 comments on it the last I checked.
And, Semitism.net (pro-Israel, pro-Arab, pro-peace) doesn’t pull punches: no matter which way I head these days in the pro-Israel world — Jewish or Christian right — it looks like I am going to Hell.
Mainstream Baptist marks the loss of church/state separation champion Robert Alley.
Xpatriated Texan writes about the Limits of Greed.
And finally, speaking of limits, Talk to Action points out the connection between politics and the tribulation. Good God, the end to that needs to be neigh.
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A good laugh from yesterday’s Boston Globe.
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Today, the Center for American Progress reports that:
Focus on the Family has mailed brochures to more than 90,000 Missouri homes, arguing that stem cell research under the Missouri ballot initiative would exploit women by luring them into dangerous egg donations. The brochure, “Women’s voices against cloning,” quotes several women’s organizations to show “the risks that this measure [Missouri ballot initiative] poses to women’s health.” The Progress Report spoke with several of the women’s organizations quoted in the brochure who said that Focus on the Family misrepresented their positions and they disagree with the organization’s aims to ban stem cell research. Judy Norsigian, author of Our Bodies, Ourselves, said that while she has some concerns about the somatic cell nuclear transplant (SCNT) technique, she is actually “very supportive of most embryonic stem cell research.”
This follows a disturbing trend among right wing religious groups, one of not checking their facts and even mispresenting reality.
For example, the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures states that the opponents’ argument, that supporters of the Stem Cell Initiative “have a ‘profit motive’ for wanting to pursue stem cell cures, is false and absurd. The truth is, the major medical institutions involved in stem cell research in Missouri – such as the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Missouri – are non-profit institutions.”
Yesterday, the Colorado Springs Independent reported that Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals attacked the Christian Coalition. Why? Because according to him (not the New York Times) the Christian Coalition twisted words. According to his associate pastor, “he was saying the Christian Coalition is not a reliable source of information for Christians.” Ouch!
And finally, the Columbus Dispatch reports:
By Thursday, [GOP] state Chairman Robert T. Bennett knew the party had been caught red-handed and issued an apology to the victim, U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, the Democratic nominee for governor. But the scurrilous mission had been accomplished: Let the whispering campaign begin.
The attack had nothing to do with records or resumes or policy. It was brutally personal — and a lie. The message the GOP had asked its followers to spread across the Ohioscape is that Strickland and his wife are gay, never mind their nearly 20 years of marriage.
In yet another perversion of religion, the state party hired a conservative Christian to do the dirty work, using a computer at party headquarters to spread the rumor via e-mail to “profamily” conservatives. Gary Lankford, headmaster of a Christian home school, started in early July as the Ohio GOP’s “social conservative coordinator.”
That’s four recent examples. Whether a person is progressive or conservative, sloppy research and deliberate dishonesty hurts the cause of faith. As became clear in Ralph Reed’s Georgia defeat, decent folks with faith-full traditions of honesty and good work are beginning to see in the endorsement of Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition, and Restoration Ohio a dogged reason to doubt.
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I want to thank both Amy and Thurman for taking the time for their stimulating exchange of ideas last week on this blog. It modeled the freedom to discuss controversial topics and civility of tone that should characterize public debates. Faith in Public LIVE will bring similar extended debates to you on a regular basis in this space, so stay tuned in coming weeks.
I also want to take a moment to thank our summer interns who have done such great work with us and are beginning to depart. Lauren, Dave and Alex are sure to go on from here to do fantastic work for justice and the common good in the years ahead. We’ve been lucky to have them in our camp during this exciting summer, and look forward to the arrival of our interns for this fall.
Rev. Jennifer Butler
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Since both David and Amy are busy today, I’ll take on the task of trying to wrap things up. I believe I can summarize Amy’s position as this:
The Casey campaign in Pennsylvania provides an excellent example of how and why Democrats should broaden their appeal to include faith-based groups that can be hostile to some Party positions. By insisting on fair implementation of legal requirements, the Casey campaign turned what appeared to be a partisan-front organization into at least a neutral organization. This is being repeated at state and county levels throughout the country that Democratic chairs are finding that they are the first Democrat ever to talk to some religious leaders. While it won’t convert people overnight, it will at least establish a dialogue and create an atmosphere of mutual respect. This is a promising development and should be embraced by Democrats everywhere.
I agree that it is a promising development, but I caution against making too much of a single example. If the only way to make inroads is to change what we stand for, then we have effectively lost the battle anyway. What I believe we need to do, as Faithful Left activists, is to better organize and to better annunciate a theology upon which liberal ideology can rest. That’s difficult work to do, and it’s going to be messy and a lot of toes are going to be stepped on. But I believe it is vital work if there is to be any longterm “Faithful Left”.
David pointed out that at least some of this work has already been started. We don’t have to start from scratch and that there is still a good bit of work that can be done simply by reaching out to existing groups and letting them know that we exist. Both Amy and I agree with him on this issue and see greater organization (but not necessarily centralization) as a benefit.
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