Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Murder Is Murder, Abortion Is Not.

All honor to Dr.Tiller, who joins the list of martyrs for ethical decency and human rights, killed for healing with compassion. Dr. Tiller is a religious martyr in the fullest classical sense, killed in his own church as he arrived to worship, killed for acting in accord with his religious commitments and his moral and ethical choices. (The American Jewish Congress has also condemned this murder).And all dishonor to those vicious attackers like Bill O'Reilly who have egged on the kind of violent acts that finally murdered Dr. Tiller. And who have blasphemously invoked the name of God to justify these incitements to murder.

Arthur Waskow

About Arthur Waskow (from his site)

Rabbi Arthur Waskow has been one of the creators and leaders of Jewish renewal since writing the original Freedom Seder in 1969. In 1983 he founded and has since been director of the Shalom Center in Philadelphia. He is the author of The Limits of Defense (Doubleday), From Race Riot to Sit-In (Doubleday), Godwrestling--Round 2 (Jewish Lights), Down-to-Earth Judaism (Morrow) and, with Phyllis Berman, A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven.

1 comment:

Ted Michael Morgan said...

Note to my brother:

Bill O'Reilly is fundamentalist Catholic; quite a few of the television political commentators are. I think he is quite consistent about his Catholicism. I came close to converting to Catholicism when I lived in Oregon. My own beliefs are consistent with much within traditional Cat holism, though the male-domination of that denomination and its grounding on human philosophy instead of the true transcendence of God makes that out to the question for me now. My view of God is that of transcendence, which not the same as supernaturalism is.

My teacher Tony Nemetz was a devout Catholic and a philosopher. He had this to say about fundamentalists, "There are arguments are clear, simple, mechanical, and wrong. You go argue with them." I had given up on arguing with fundamentalists from the time I was about 18-years-old. Our father claimed to be a fundamentalist but he clearly was not, at least no a consistent one.

My view of deity is apodictic, a view held by many Catholics, especially Catholic mystics. It is very much like what you find in Saint John of the Cross and Theresa of Avila. The early Church fathers Ambrose of Milan and Augustine did not take Christianity as literal truth but as figurative truth. I have found it impossible to transpose one point-of-view to the other. Ambrose and Augustine both wrote that they were able to convert to Christianity because they did take it figuratively. I know all of this sounds too abstract--at least, it might sound that way to you, but my views are quite orthodox. Saint Augustine warned (I cannot find the exact reference this morning) young theologians to realize that when they wrote about God they were not writing about God but about their views about him. Theology is always an effort to grasp what is beyond our keen.

Catholicism for the past couple of centuries has been bound to the theology and philosophy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. I think that is the obstacle to their grasping what many Protestants believe about issues such as abortion. Their philosophy rather than their religion causes the problem because they cannot separate their understanding for the gospel from their foundational philosophy.


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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