Friday, May 12, 2006

Christians - You wild and crazy guys.

I happened to listen to a portion of Fresh Air on NPR yesterday (Thursday 5/11/06.) Terry Gross interviewed author Michelle Goldberg. Ms. Goldberg has just published a book, Kingdom Coming: The rise of christian nationalism. Pretty scary stuff.

That most christians have no particular political agenda, a goal of ultimately making the US a religious state, may well be true. Nevertheless, there are, Ms. Goldberg contends, a number of people, many in positions of power and influence whose agenda is just that. It is the stated goal of such people to have a christian based government having not simply influence or recognition, but dominion over all. Their goal is a state not unlike that of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Non-believers, adulterers, prostitutes, and, of course homosexuals will be summarily put to death under this regime. So much for tolerance. The government will be set up and operated via a strict and literal interpretation of the christian bible. There is much more. A list of some of the people involved - both pre- and post-millenials, is rather disturbing. I have ordered this book, but it will likely be a few days before I receive it.

We tend to think of such things as the realm of the fringe crazies. But some of these people are currently in powerful positions in government at all levels. Many churches - mostly protestant and fundamentalist - have become more the realm of politicos than spiritualists. The pulpit has been transmogrified into the stump. Even now parishoners are threatened with ex-communication (or the protestant equivalent) from the church if they are found to have voted against designated socially conservative candidates.

This movement is gaining ground because even those who are more or less ambivilant as regards their religious zeal, are reluctant or even fearful to act or speak out against this trend. My goodness! What if they're right? Or what if they succeed? It could be uncomfortable, or even dangerous to wind up on the outside looking in.

I have made allusions to the situation in Nazi Germany in the early 1930s and received some scathing comments for having done so. But think of all the people who ignored or looked the other way from what was happening then and the result. We are allowing ourselves to be lolled into complaisancy, setting ourselves up to be blind sided by what could be wholesale changes in our government. We may be surprised to find ourselves living in a very different country.

Another book I came across, The Baptising of America: the religious right's plan for the rest of us, by James A. Rudin. It's also on my list.

I would love to hear from anyone familiar with either of these works or any others dealing with the increasing influence and power of the christian right, or anyone with first hand knowledge of this development. It is argued that christians have an equal right to take part and have an influence in things governmental. I don't deny that. But, they do not have the right to co-opt the constitution and replace it with the bible.

On a lighter note: I received an email with a strip of photos of yours truly in the Indy Mini-Marathon. I will not inflict you, my faithful readers to any of these images. However, I just had to relate to you the phrase that came to mind when I looked at them: "The Ground Bound Round Mound." It's not pretty.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Monster of the Mini-Marathon


I finished the mini-marathon. I can tell you my knees did not like it. Not one bit. But, regardless, I crossed the finish line in a blistering 3:57:34. (By contrast, my son finished in 2:20:18. but he's a show off.) I finished an eye opening 27,344th. (Yeah, really.)

While walking around the Indy track, I was passed by a guy with a prosthetic leg and a heavy set middle aged woman wearing flip-flops. On the west 10th Street leg, around mile 10 of the course, a local bar gave out small cups of beer. I passed, but my son had three. He said it was the greatest run he's ever done (and the best beer he ever drank.)

It was a good day. My knees will ultimately forgive me (I hope.) Woo-hoo!