The subjects on this blog are mainly political and theological, but your ideas on other topics are welcome. My hope is that we can dialog honestly even if we disagree.. There are some previous posts on this blog. I will be responsible for them even though I may no longer fully support them.

Welcome again!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

CNN Promotes War Propaganda

CNN presented propaganda re China's military spending tonight (Erin Burnett, Up Front 1-04-12).  Classic fear info, delivered, urgently.  by Peter Brooks, Heritage Foundation, who told us China was involved in a massive buildup, while we were cutting our spending For example, China is building air craft carriers (2). With threatening pictures Brooks rolled out scary scenarios of China blowing up our ships.

Why is this propaganda? Because it is partial, distorted truth.  Compare: US defense in 2011 was $692,000,000,000.  China's was & 100,000,000,000.  China's projected increased spending for 2012 is 10%.  Current US military cuts are in the neighborhood of 5 to 6 (or so) billion.  Do the math. What is the purpose of this scare talk?  Military based corporations, politicians with defense plants in their districts,  Pentagon officials -- all the persons known as "Daddy Warbucks" want the rewards for military contracts.

And by the way, China may have 2 aircraft carriers, we have eleven.  Pressure is being mounted" for more. And Sec'y of Defense (War) Pinetta is currently moaning that we may not be able to fighting two wars at the same time if we cut spending. Be alert. Defense appropriation discussions have started.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Young Men Go To War...

Sometimes because they have to, sometimes because they want to. Always, they feel they are supposed to. This comes from the sad, layered stories of life, which over the centuries have seen courage confused with picking up arms, and cowardice confused with laying them down.
--Mitch Albom, the five people you meet in heaven

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zealots & A Warrior God

Having lost faith in all else, zealots have nothing left but a holy cause to please a warrior God. They win if we become holy warriors, too; if we kill the innocent as they do; strike first at those who had not struck us; allow our leaders to use the fear of terrorism to make us afraid of the truth; cease to think and reason together, allowing others to tell what's in God's mind. --Bill Moyer

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Christian Atheism: It's Not What You ThinkMM,,,..

DA Humble, Beginning Word
about Christian Atheism
by Conrad Archer

Theism, as a Christian Concept.

Atheism is a term which generally denies the existence of deity. It can be used in a variety of ways. It could focus on pantheism, panentheism, deism, etc. In this essay it will refer to a denial of a "theistic" concept of God: a-theistic, not theistic. In this sense, the denial of God's existence is not disavowed. But the mysterious nature of the Spirit (God) is not limited to a theistic view.

Theism is the popular concept for God as presented, in a general way, in the Judeo-Christian scriptures. A definition of "theism" is that it:

"refers to a system of thought in which is postulated the existence of one perfect unified being that is the source of the cosmos and continues to sustain and maintain it."*

More particularly a biblical image of God, which I grew up with, is that of an anthropomorphic being who lived in heaven, who became a divine, human being (Jesus), and finally came to be perceived (believed) as the Holy Spirit.

Until I was in my late teens I mostly believed those assertions with little question. But
college religious courses, and seminary lessons introduced me to historico/critical issues in studying the scriptures. And, the cultural issues highlighted from the Enlightenment to the present time gave me information which led me to modify those understandings from my mjchildhood.

A word about how we have come to internally construct our own religious knowledge. "Interpretation" is the most abused aspect involved in the formation of one's understanding of "God" and spiritual matters.

A manifestation of the "transcendent/immanent" God occurs, in what may be called
a mystical or revelatory event. Like witnesses at a automobile accident, reports may witness the event differently.
In scripture, we find individual interpretations of events which may have happened. Varying
interpretations. Some Christians accept all reported scriptural events as literally true. I am more skepical. That does not mean that I consider their beliefs to be wrong. Just that I have a different interpretation. (I hope you do not insist that everyone believe like you).
For the most part, the events recorded in scripture reflect (interpret) something that actually happened. But the report we have in scripture is surely a layer, or two, or several interpretations removed from the actual event. At another time I will say more about that.

A Few Words About "God" In general, I affirm that "God" is both transcendent and immanent (present beyond, yet within the cosmos). God is manifested in both physical and spiritual form (material and energy). Above all, God is a mystery. Far beyond human understanding.

I describe myself as a Christian (Xn) Atheist. I do believe in God, but I do not understand God as a "being" with a body.  Those who believe that way are "theists.  Those who do not are atheists, or some other non-theistic believer.  I believe in God but not in a theistic way I approach the Xn scriptures with a reverent historico/critical eye. Some of scripture is historical; some is metaphorical. All of it is culturally conditioned.

I claim to be a Christian. Some gatekeepers of the faith have told me I am not; but, Jesus has told me not to believe them. I will talk about Jesus, a mystical companion, a teacher, a brother in my next essay.

Grace, Peace, Love,


__________ *Van A. Harvey, A Handbook of Theological Terms (New York: Touchstone, 1997) p. 32-33.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tillich &Theism

Paul Tillich speaks  of  "theism" in three ways, in his book COURAGE TO BE.  

(1) It can mean an unspecified affirmation of God.  E.g., a politician or public speaker may reference "God" in order to appear serious or morally trustworthy. Theism is thus used to convey a character quality from the speaker to the audience; but this can be negated if the audience takes its theistic affirmation [more] seriously.  (302)  

(2) A second meaning for theism is that it may be the name for the divine-human encounters found, for example, in the Judeo-Christian scriptures.  The personalistic representations of God show theism as the "non-mystical side of biblical religion and historical Christianity" ( (303)

(3) Theism in a third sense is dependent on the first two meanings. It is strictly theological and is thus dependent on the religious substance which it conceptualizes.  In the first sense it attempts to shore up the necessity of affirming God in some way.  It may formulate arguments for "existence of God".  In the second sense it attempts to translate the person-to-person experiences into a doctrine of two different realities which may or may not coincide.

All three of these views of theism must be transcended.  The first because it is irrelevant; and the second because it is one-sided.  The third must be transcended because it is just wrong.  It is bad theology  Check this out:

Friday, June 18, 2010

York: a great English ciy

Yorkminster June 15 Tuesday

A day spent walking close to the edge of heaven. We decided to spend the day with the magnificent church structure, known as Yorkminister. Just to approach this building is.an intimidating event. Never have i seen so huge and so awesome a place of worship.

                                            (a side view)
First, Judee wanted to walk around the outside. A really good choice. Half way around we sat on bench and examined the Gothic design the statues of the saints and the gargoyles placed there to ward off evil. As we turned the southwest corner we came back to the statue of Constantine--the Roman Emperor who opened the door of toleration for Christianity. He was in York when his father died, and it was there he was proclaimed emperor.  The city of York commissioned this statue a few years ago.

Inside one is impressed by the size of the place. Over 2,000 can be seated for worship. There are twelve chapels, one of which was celebrating Holy Communion as our tour group passed. The nave was built in 1300 AD.

Our tour guide spent nearly the entire hour giving the history of a thousand stained glass windows. Perhaps I am just too hickified for this sort of thing but I could have had a better experience just sitting in a corner and taking it all in.

We went down to the " Undercross" area below the main floor. There you can find three levels of history: Roman, Norman and medieval. The Romans had built a secular basilica sometime before the 3rd or 4 th century. I stood on the very street where a Roman soldier stood guarding an entrance. Many stone artifacts were on display
The Norman invasion brought with it the construction of a Norman cathedral about 80% the size of the current one.

Well, I got home before finishing this day and Yorkminster.

We did attend Evensong at the minstrel and I did purchase a small gargoyle.

The next day we rode the train from York to London and spent the night in our last Bed and Breakfast. Early on Thursday we grabbed a Tube and got to Heathrow. Got through all the red tape, Had c. ten hour flight to Houston, then a 40 minute jog to San Antonio.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kiburn to York June 15

Kilburn to York June 14-15

Cathy, Judee's cousinto took us to Thirsk (an old Viking town) where we caught a train to York. We immediately bought tickets to London (and reserved seats). We checked into our B&B (Abbeyfield) which is the nicest accommodations of our trip. After a nap we walked around this ancient and beautiful city .. York is a must see for any visit to England.

Roman structures from the third century are here. Constantine was proclaimed Roman emperor here. The Yorkminster Abbey is awesome. We stopped off and ate pizza on the way back to our B&B.

Today, Tuesday, we will take a tour of Yorkminster and attend Evensong worship. Judee has several sights lined up. As wonderful as all this is, my heart is now pointing to San Antonio via London.

We are truly fortunate to have been able to make this trip; and blessed with great home and friends to return home to.

Tomorrow night, London. Thursday, San Antonio.