Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lutheran Doctor Murdered

Dr. George Tiller, 1941-2009
From one of the best Catholic Blogs:

Sunday, May 31, 2009


"Whoever murdered George Tiller has done a gravely wicked thing. The evil of this action is in no way diminished by the blood George Tiller had on his own hands. No private individual had the right to execute judgment against him. We are a nation of laws. Lawless violence breeds only more lawless violence. Rightly or wrongly, George Tilller was acquitted by a jury of his peers. "Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.' For the sake of justice and right, the perpetrator of this evil deed must be prosecuted, convicted, and punished. By word and deed, let us teach that violence against abortionists is not the answer to the violence of abortion. Every human life is precious. George Tiller's life was precious. We do not teach the wrongness of taking human life by wrongfully taking a human life."

-- Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University

Statement from Dr. Tiller's Wife

Anna Massey Lea Merritt Record number: [50216] Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

***UPDATE*** Tiller's wife Jeanne, his four children and ten grandchildren issued the following statement
"Today we mourn the loss of our husband, father and grandfather. Today's event is an unspeakable tragedy for all of us and for George's friends and patients. This is particularly heart wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace.
We would like to express the family's thanks for the many messages of sympathy from our friends and from all across the nation. We also want to thank the law enforcement officers who are investigating this crime.
Our loss is also a loss for the City of Wichita and women across America. George dedicated his life to providing women with high-quality heath care despite frequent threats and violence. We ask that he be remembered as a good husband, father and grandfather and a dedicated servant on behalf of the rights of women everywhere."

Center for Reproductive Freedom

Protect Reproductive Freedom

The ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project protects everyone's right to make informed decisions free from government interference about whether and when to become a parent. Learn more about our work in reproductive health and take action to protect rights guaranteed to all Americans.

Protect a Woman's Right to Abortion

Stop gving money to religious groups that oppose the rights of women to reproductive freedom.

Delightful Book

I just read a delightful book, Biology and Christian Ethics, New Studies in Christian Ethics 17 by Stephen L. Clark, Series Edited by Robin Gill (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), a work I needed to enjoy. Professor Clark has written a witty and wise work that balances some to the excessives of commentators, such as religious naturalists. More later.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

104:24 O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
104:25 Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
104:26 There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
104:27 These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
104:28 when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
104:29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
104:30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
104:31 May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works--
104:32 who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
104:33 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
104:34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.
104:35b Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!


Descent of the Holy Spirit
El Greco
Museo del Prado

Image copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

Robert Wright Interview with Ursula Goodenough

Slate Interview with Dr. Ursula Goodenough, author of The Sacred Depts of Nature.
Photograpy of Ursula Goodenough, John Heuser Photo. From Wikipedia: I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. This applies worldwide.
In case this is not legally possible,

American Federation of State County Municiple Employees

From the web site:
AFSCME’s 1.6 million members provide the vital services that make America happen and advocate for prosperity and opportunity for all working families.
We are nurses, corrections officers, child care providers, EMTs and sanitation workers. For us, public service is not just a job, it’s a calling. At times we are right out front, and at other times we are behind the scenes. Wherever we are, we’re proud to take on the responsibility of helping to keep this country strong.
AFSCME is a union made up of a diverse group of people who share a common commitment to public service. We see the big picture and gladly accept the responsibility of guarding and nurturing it — not because we expect to be recognized for our sacrifice, but because we know the job needs to be done. That’s why we’re in the public service — to keep our families safe and make our communities strong.
While we work for justice in the workplace, we advocate for prosperity and opportunity for all of America’s working families. We not only stand for fairness at the bargaining table — we fight for fairness at the ballot box and in the

Faith-Theology Blog Spot

Interesting blog--borrowed the logo to promote it.
This blog consistently intrigues me. It represents a much more conservative point-of-view than my own, but that is okay.

National Journal Article about Who Funds Anti-Union Campaigns

Anti-Union This ant That

Remember National Council of Churches speech by Professor Gary Dorrien:

[Marx's] point cut deeper: global capitalism commodifies everything it touches, including labor and nature, putting everything up for sale.Nothing is exempt from the pressure of competition. Social contracts and places of rest have vanished under threats of obsolescence and ruin, while the global market exploits resources, displaces communities and sets off wealth explosions in wild cycles of boom and bust.

From The New York Times:

Titled “No Holds Barred: The Intensification of Employer Opposition to Organizing,” the report is likely to be heavily cited, quoted, praised and denounced in the debate over whether Congress should enact legislation that

The study found that “the aspirations for representation are being thwarted by a coercive and punitive climate for organizing that goes unrestrained due to a fundamentally flawed regulatory regime.”

The author of the study, Kate Bronfenbrenner, is director of labor education research at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and has often been criticized by business groups for her pro-union positions.

Anit-Union Creeps have no shame?

Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free© Video Series

Your company wants to remain union free and your front line is made up of supervisors. They interact with employees daily, they represent the company to employees, and they are your most effective communication tool. Yet, when you need them most, when a union organizer comes calling... are they ready?

Your supervisors need to understand unions, union organizers and the issues surrounding a union organizing drive. It's essential if your supervisors are going to help maintain your company's union-free status. "Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free," is the most comprehensive video series on the subject available today, and has been updated and improved to offer you an unsurpassed supervisory training tool. The "Supervisors Can Keep You Union Free" training series consists of 5 programs and a training manual and can be purchased as a package or individually:

#1 - "Unions: How they Affect Supervisors, Companies and Employees"When they find out how much a union can disrupt their work life, supervisors become willing, passionate participants in the union-avoidance campaign. This video lays the groundwork for the series, and gives the audience a taste of life under a union contract.#2 - "Making Unions Unnecessary" The best way to win a union campaign is never to have one in the first place. This video shows your supervisors how good, basic management skills can keep a union from ever getting a foot in your company's door.#3 - "How To Stop Cardsigning" Once the organizer shows up, your supervisors need to move quickly and confidently to stop the union's momentum.
#4 - "The Union Campaign: Communicating To Employees" The winner in a union campaign is usually the side that does the best job of communicating to the employees. This video shows your supervisors what they can't do or say...but more importantly, it shows them what they CAN and MUST do and say to beat the union.
#5 -"Getting 'NO' Votes" An NLRB election date is scheduled, and the union activity increases. In this video, your supervisors see and hear what to expect, how to counter the union, how to promote the company...and how to eventually win the election.The Trainer's Manual
"Supervisors Can Keep You Union-Free" is supported by a Trainer's Manual that helps the discussion leader reinforce the lessons and information provided on the videos. The Manual provides materials that can be used in the discussion sessions, and makes specific recommendations for achieving maximum results. The Manual's "user-friendly" design facilitates additional learning through interactive discussion points, handouts, role-play exercises and much more.
Get A Free Sample

American Rights at Work Advertisement

"When workers are free to choose to join a union, our economy can work for everyone again. That's why we need the Employee Free Choice Act - a bill in Congress that would help level the playing field and give workers the freedom to choose a union.Send the letter below and ask Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act."

From Pro-Labor Ad.
From the Ant-Union Propaganda Forces: Who pays for this nonsense?

Worker Rights:

Photograph from World Students Against Sweatshops.

The Worker Rights Consortium (WRC) is an independent labor rights monitoring organization, conducting investigations of working conditions in factories around the globe. Our purpose is to combat sweatshops and protect the rights of workers who sew apparel and make other products sold in the United States.
The WRC conducts independent, in-depth investigations; issues public reports on factories producing for major U.S. brands; and aids workers at these factories in their efforts to end labor abuses and defend their workplace rights. The WRC is proud to have the support of over 175 college and university affiliates and our primary focus is the labor practices of factories that make apparel and other goods bearing university logos. The WRC's mission is to:

respond to worker complaints by investigating allegations of labor rights abuses and documenting worker rights violations where they are occurring;
keep our affiliate colleges and universities informed about conditions in the factories producing the goods that bear their names and logos;
work with colleges and universities, apparel brands and factories, and workers and their representatives to end worker rights violations wherever they are identified;
raise public awareness about workplace conditions in apparel and other industries and promote initiatives to improve respect for labor rights;
educate workers about their rights under college and university codes of conduct, and other private labor codes; and
through all of these efforts, help workers gain greater respect for their rights and real improvements in their conditions of work.

Anti-Union Advertisements

"Don't let your employees vote!" What an outrage!

Bill Moyer's Journal on Vice-President Chaney and War Crimes

Photograph in Public Domain from Wikipedia.

From President Obama:

Time and again, our values have been our best national security asset – in war and peace, in times of ease and in eras of upheaval... Where terrorists offer only the injustice of disorder and destruction, America must demonstrate that our values and our institutions are more resilient than a hateful ideology... I banned the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the United States of America. I know some have argued that brutal methods like waterboarding were necessary to keep this country safe. And I categorically reject the assertion that these are the most effective means of interrogation. What’s more, they undermine the rule of law. They alienate us in the world. They serve as a recruitment tool for terrorists, and increase the will of our enemies to fight us, while decreasing the will of others to work with America. They risk the lives of our troops by making it less likely that others will surrender to them in battle, and more likely that Americans will be mistreated if they are captured. In short, they did not advance our war and counterterrorism efforts – they undermined them, and that is why I ended them once and for all.”

Bill Moyer's Journal on Vice-President Chaney and War Crimes

Photograph from Wikipeida
Former Vice-President Chaney:

“In the years after 9/11, our government also understood that the safety of the country required collecting information known only to the worst of the terrorists. And in a few cases, that information could be gained only through tough interrogations... The interrogations were used on hardened terrorists after other efforts failed. They were legal, essential, justified, successful, and the right thing to do... Personnel were carefully chosen from within the CIA and were especially prepared to apply techniques within the boundaries of their training and the limits of the law. Torture was never permitted. And the methods were given careful legal review before they were approved. Interrogators had authoritative guidance on the line between toughness and torture... To call this a program of torture is to libel the dedicated professionals who have saved American lives and to cast terrorists and murderers as innocent victims. What’s more, to completely rule out enhanced interrogation in the future is unwise in the extreme. It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness and would make the American people less safe.”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

Poetry of Wilfred Owen

Wild with all Regrets

(Another version of "A Terre".)

To Siegfried Sassoon

My arms have mutinied against me -- brutes!
My fingers fidget like ten idle brats,My back's been stiff for hours, damned hours.
Death never gives his squad a Stand-at-ease.I can't read. There: it's no use. Take your book.

A short life and a merry one, my buck!

We said we'd hate to grow dead old. But now,Not to live old seems awful: not to renewMy boyhood with my boys, and teach 'em hitting,Shooting and hunting, -- all the arts of hurting!--

Well, that's what I learnt. That, and making money.
Your fifty years in store seem none too many;
But I've five minutes. God! For just two years
To help myself to this good air of yours!
One Spring! Is one too hard to spare? Too long?
Spring air would find its own way to my lung,
And grow me legs as quick as lilac-shoots.

Yes, there's the orderly.

He'll change the sheets
When I'm lugged out, oh, couldn't I do that?
Here in this coffin of a bed, I've thought
I'd like to kneel and sweep his floors for ever, --And ask no nights off when the bustle's over,
For I'd enjoy the dirt; who's prejudiced

Against a grimed hand when his own's quite dust, --Less live than specks that in the sun-shafts turn?

Dear dust, -- in rooms, on roads, on faces' tan!

I'd love to be a sweep's boy, black as Town;
Yes, or a muckman.
Must I be his load?
A flea would do.

If one chap wasn't bloody,
Or went stone-cold, I'd find another body.

Which I shan't manage now. Unless it's yours.

I shall stay in you,
for some few hours.

You'll feel my heavy spirit chill your chest,
And climb your throat on sobs, until it's chased
On sighs, and wiped
from off your lips by wind.
I think on your rich breathing, brother, I'll be weaned

To do without what blood remained me from my wound.

5th December 1917.

And then:

Fools say they learn from experience; I prefer to learn from the experienceof others.”

— Otto von Bismark2

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is now, at least part of the day, an interval of solitude for me. The idea of all those men and women who died for our country demands a kind of silence at times because words and music cannot quite voice the intensity of feelings, memory. and imagination our loss of them brings. On this day, we pay what honor we can—our inability to thank those who gave all for our nation.
From Alun Lewis:

And we talked of girls, and dropping bombs on Rome,
And thought of the quiet dead and the loud celebrities
Exhorting us to slaughter.

"All Day It Has Rained", line 17, from Raider's Dawn and Other Poems (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1942) p. 16.

Union Organizing

Replacement for an earlier post:

Resources for Labor Union Organizing is designed to provide help to U.S. Workers in their efforts at organizing themselves and their co-workers into labor unions. It is also a resource for Union Leaders to assist in their operations, organizing, and bargaining efforts.

Frontline: Link to Advertisement

Frontline is consistently helpful. I watch the episodes on television and on the web. Great resource.

Doctors Without Borders

Photo from: Doctors Without Borders Web Site, 2009. Caption: MSF denounces the growing pressure applied by Thailand’s army to force the 5,000 Hmong refugees living in Huai Nam Khao camp to return to Laos. Increasingly restrictive measures have forced MSF to put a stop to its assistance activities after some four years of presence in the camp.

History and Principles

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971.
Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe, primarily due to armed conflict, epidemics, malnutrition, exclusion from health care, or natural disasters. MSF provides independent, impartial assistance to those most in need. MSF reserves the right to speak out to bring attention to neglected crises, to challenge inadequacies or abuse of the aid system, and to advocate for improved medical treatments and protocols.
In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize.
Humanitarian Action

Friday, May 15, 2009

Religious Dispatches

Photo of Linda E. Cambe, who understands sexuality better than most people I know. Photo taken by Ted Michael Morgan.

A reply to an article on Carrie Prejean by Paula Cooey:

This is not a direct reaction to the article because I do not quite understand the article. The mysteries are still mysteries that facile expressions, debates, icons, and theories do not quite define or cover.

One of the first books I bought when I was becoming a young Christian was a little tract from Association Press. It was Seward Hiltner’s “Sex and Christian Life.” The tract was helpful as has been much theology I read during the next 61 years.

I own a large private library on romantic love, sexuality, theology, biblical studies—all part of my effort to understand his core part of myself in theological terms. I recall with gratitude the ministry of the Rev. Roland Perdue and later of the Rev. Milner Ball at Westminster House at the University of Georgia as well as the ministry of the Rev. Robert Burns, late pastor of Peachtree Christian Church in Atlanta, Georgia. The Methodist Churches sponsored major studies in human sexuality that influenced Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the Cross Road Interfaith Bookstore in Portland, Oregon provided excellent resources that I enjoyed and celebrated. To boot, my marriage counselors were a Baptist pastor and a former Catholic priest who had taught pastoral care at a seminary. However, in many ways, the Church has not always been a healthy arena for me to explore sexuality.

Ambiguities abound, at least they do for me. With all the help from churches, scholars, and theologians, I found that my Christian identify confounded my sexuality. To explain would be too autobiographical for brief comment.

A complaint about Carrie Prejean and so-called beauty contests seems to pertain to how we make young women (and men) fetish items. We tend to limit our range of sexual expression to those who fit these fetish images or models. I recall young feminists including my first lover protesting this process of making fetishes out of young women even as my former lover enjoyed the fruits of representing a fetish image.

We still talk double-talk about sexuality. We still seem embarrassed to be sexual beings. At least, we still seem confused about what being sexual means. That is not to say that Henry Miller, Anais Nin, and Lawrence Durrell were any better or more helpful.

Professor Cooey is an important commentator on theology, feminism, and sexuality. Like me, I think she remains in awe of the mystery of embodied love and the mysteries that define being a human being.

WWII: Behind Closed Doors

The new PBS/History Channel series “Behind Closed Doors: The Secret History of the Second World War” intersperses reenactments of meetings between the Germans, Soviets, British, and American leaders with anguished interviews with victims of that war. The agony in the accounts decades after the events overwhelms me with grief. This is a superb television series.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Article from The National Catholic Reporter

"The problem with the political agenda of the Radical Right is not that they're wrong. Who isn't concerned about the so-called "moral values" on which this last presidential election is said to have hinged.

"I understand the so-called "conservative" agenda. I even share its concerns. They are real and they are important. But they are also incomplete -- which is why I doubt that, as they are being framed right now, they are either "right" or "religious." The agenda is simply too narrow, too concentrated on issues around human sexuality alone, and too self-centered to be the agenda that drove Jesus from Galilee to Jerusalem curing lepers, feeding the hungry and raising the dead to life."

from: October 23, 2006 By Joan Chittister, OSBFounder and executive director, Benetvision

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Biographical Comment

Part of a working piece, a draft:

Tony Nemetz acted as a major teacher and tutor for me. He was not quite a guru. I had other mentors by the time that I encountered Nemetz. One of these was Dean Barton Dowdy of Christian College and Robert Ayers was another, though I was not one of his favorite students. That was my friend Roy Bonnell, to whom I was a kind of sidekick. My mentor from high school has been Adeline Cunningham, who was about fifty years my senior and almost the love of my life when I was a teenager. Actually, at least three of my female high school teachers were mentors. My maternal grandfather was another mentor. Two retired military chaplains who served my home church were mentors.

Dr. Dowdy used to look right at me when he referred in lectures to a work he admired. He knew that I would find a copy and eventually read it.

However, having a dominating father who could not distinguish proper boundaries between himself and me, I did not want, by the time Nemetz came to Georgia, another person in my life telling me what to think, how to feel, or what to do. Nemetz always made me feel wary but he never did that.

Milner Ball was later a more important counselor and guide. He was more mentor than Nemetz was. I don’t know exactly why Milner influenced me the way he has. In spite of his ambition and his critical view of me, he strikes me as man of great integrity and someone to take seriously. I still admire him.

Phil and you, though much younger than I, have been mentors as was Mery Lynn McCorkle, who is very much younger than I am.

Nemetz was a boon because he talked to students, even modestly blessed ones like me. He was a high contrast to people like William T. Blackstone.

William T. Blackstone was a careful thinker and an accomplished writer. He employed a well-structured style, careful documentation, and the tools of positivist scholarship. Disagreeing with him was easy but making an argument to support disagreement was hard. His book on religious language and philosophical analysis came out the year I entered Georgia. It was always the backdrop for my time at university.

Blackstone clearly had read Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard. I now think that he might have misread Wittgenstein. If he read him correctly, he misused his work. He rejected Kierkegaard almost out of hand.

I think that Blackstone assumed positivism without debating it. Blackstone divorced fact and value (whatever value is). He divorced emotion and rationality. From his use of sources such as Braithwaite’s book on the nature of religious belief, I got the idea that he mistrusted emotional considerations in religious discourse. At least, he denied emotional considerations cognitive intention. I think that Heidegger, Kierkegaard, and others such as Paul Tillich explored the place of foundational emotions in religious experience and expression.

Further, I think that Blackstone’s critique of religious language suffers from his acceptance of the famous fact/value dichotomy. I had some sense of these complaints but a lack of background and reading to voice them.

Blackstone used Wittgenstein’s Tractatus but he used selections from it out of context. At least, that is what I thought. However, I also thought that I much have misread the Tractatus. Wittgenstein used nuance in his work that positivists seemed to miss. Blackstone probably did not know that Wittgenstein admired Kierkegaard. Some works in philosophy that had intrigued me at Georgia Tech about philosophy were the Tractatus and certain books by Kierkegaard, including The Sickness Unto Death. I expected help with reading Wittgenstein and Kierkegaard when I went to Georgia.

Of course at Georgia, one rarely heard any mention of the Tractatus (thought I read and heard a lot about the Philosophical Investigations), while reading Kierkegaard exemplified seemingly either an outlaw practice, a fool’s devotion, bad manners, or religious stupidity.

Blackstone had read Kierkegaard, but he rejected him or did not grasp him. I think that he simply did not reach far enough into what Kierkegaard intended. Kierkegaard dealt with subjectivity, not as the only truth but as something more profound—something having to do with the limits that define our existence and our knowledge I think that Blackstone did not quite get that or rejected it for whatever reasons he might have had. Blackstone, I think, saw philosophy as one of the social sciences, even a kind of social science of social science. He got on well with the behaviorists running the department of psychology and those ready to take over the department of political science.

Blackstone missed something, but he did make an effort to study the history of theology but from the outside, which was his privilege. Blackstone wrote his book on religious language about the time that positivism was collapsing. I think that he accepted without much criticism linguistic analysis—a movement about which Russell warned. He endorsed a book by Ernest Gellner, an anthropologist well read in philosophy. The book was Words and Things, a devastating critique of linguistic analysis written several year before Blackstone wrote his book. When Gellner wrote his first book, he was only 34-years-old, about as young as Blackstone was when he wrote his book. I doubt that anyone knew much about Geller at the time. Word and Things was one of the few contemporary works on philosophy I had read besides The Concept of Mind by Gilbert Ryle (another story altogether).

I suspected flaws in Blackstone’s book, but I lacked a background to voice it objections. Sometimes, I sensed a weakness—for example, his take on the ontological argument was not detailed and did not explore the major contemporary literature on the matter—but not well enough to engage him.

I suppose that graduate students like Clyde Anglin, Jim Harris, and Woody Williams engaged Blackstone even though they were all student ministers. They were uniformly intelligent men and good students to boot. Blackstone never engaged me once in any conversation. I was not up to stuff.

I did not like philosophy courses I took at Georgia before Nemetz arrived. I did read philosophy during my first two years at Georgia but I seldom found anything that intrigued me in my course work. Anyone who has read the standard textbook that John Hospers wrote (but taught by a good friend who was a graduate assistant), endured the pomposities of a young teacher like David Broiles and his bleak introductory course on ethics, or attended almost any of “The Great Thinkers Lectures” would have, I hope, had reservations about the value of such studies. (However, Bowman Clarke’s course on symbolic logic was entirely different, but one course among many was not enough. I wish I had worked a bit harder in Bowman’s course.)

Nemetz was something else. He did not seem to care whom he impressed on the faculty. However, he got on well with many members of the faculty. He was a friend of the head of the department of psychology who committed suicide (I think he was the head of the department. He took cyanide, an awful way to die).

For Nemetz, learning was about approaching and maybe even achieving goals, not about earning degrees. At someone despondent about the entire rat race of university life, I appreciated his point-of-view. My problem was that I encountered Nemetz late. He arrived in 1965-66. By winter 1966, I was suicidal. I did not recover until 26 years later. In a sense, I felt a form of immunity from Nemetz’s charming influence.

Nemetz was a performer. I think that, at first, I just enjoyed the show. As I came to know him, I began to see something deeper. You know why and how he impressed me, but he also seemed fragile and deeply hurt.

Nemetz took writers I read seriously. He might not have read them himself. I don’t know what he read and did not read.

He did not seem to like Wittgenstein, but I think that he saw him through the Philosophical Investigations, not the Tractatus. He rejected Kierkegaard but not those who read Kierkegaard. He was bemused by the appeal that Unamuno held for some of us Southerners.


In this my personal Christian blog, I hope to be discursive and now and then critical. What I write here is tentative and tensive. I post thoughts, feelings, and observations somewhat randomly and often in immediate response to current events and posts on other blogs.

"Serendipitous Creativity" from Gordon Kaufman

"I suggested that what we today should regard as God is the ongoing creativity in the universe - the bringing (or coming) into being of what is genuinely new, something transformative; …

"In some respects and some degrees this creativity is apparently happening continuously, in and through the processes or activities or events around us and within us(…) is a profound mystery to us humans(…) But on the whole, as we look back on the long and often painful developments that slowly brought human life and our complex human worlds into being, we cannot but regard this creativity as serendipitous …

"I want to stress that this serendipitous creativity - God! - to which we should be responsive is not the private possession of any of the many particular religious faiths or systems …

"This profound mystery of creativity is manifest in and through the overall human bio-historical evolution and development everywhere on the planet; and it continues to show itself throughout the entire human project, no matter what may be the particular religious and or cultural beliefs."

Gordon Kaufman, Mennonite Life, December 2005 vol. 60 no. 4

Melville is a rational man who

"Melville is a rational man who wants God to exist. He wants Him to exist for the same reasons we all do: to be our rescuer and appreciator, to act as a confidant in our moments of crisis and to give us reassurance that, over the horizon of our deaths, we will survive." (John Updike)

And that is a problem for me.

Fragmented Notions

Fragmented Notions
Copyright © 2007 Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

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