15 May 2008

Atlanta shorts

Not much time to write this week--just about to pack up my computer to go home after a few intense days in Atlanta.

President Bush says that his commentary on negotiation with terrorists and radicals, part of his speech in Israel's Knesset, was not aimed at Barack Obama. Who was it aimed at? There is nobody advocating what he specifically described. ("Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along.") Who are those "some" upon whom this mud is supposed to cling? And where did Bush get his understanding of what it means to negotiate?

Sorry to repeat myself somewhat (here too): Wouldn't a minimum-level understanding of "love your enemies" include describing them accurately and making an attempt to communicate with them directly?

More on the subtleties of contemporary mudslinging: Noli Irritare Leones on "Crypto-Muslims and religion as Super Glue."

One of Jeremiah Wright's most controversial sermons, from which a microscopic selection was played endlessly for a few weeks, was actually a commentary on Psalm 137 (notorious for its line about dashing babies against the rocks). That very psalm is the case study for Jason Byassee's good article in Christianity Today, "Reading with the saints: the art of biblical interpretation." (Yes, he uses the word "hermeneutics.")

More righteous links

Yet another theory interpretation for the JFK assassination: "In a new book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Catholic theologian and peace activist Jim Douglass shows us a different Kennedy, born of the Cold War, but reborn and turning toward peace. For that, Douglass contends, he was killed by the powers that be."

Google provides a convenient method of donating to Myanmar disaster relief while (this is not a criticism, just an observation) possibly increasing its "Google Checkout" rolls.

Oregonians: Have you voted yet? For those of us in the Portland area, Willamette Week Online makes its primary election ballot cheat-sheet available. The WW endorsements are just the beginning; reader comments make this a much richer resource.

In Communion, the publication of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship, has (at least) two interesting articles on the theme of "walls"--Maria Khoury's "Living on the wrong side of the wall" (the Separation Wall or the Apartheid Wall, depending on your viewpoint); and "Wanderings and wonderings about women and walls." In case Demetra Velisarios Jaquet's reflections on the situation of women in Eastern Orthodoxy tempts us Friends to feel smug, keep reading. Her description of the "many tools for avoiding subjects that are too risky or scary to talk about" seem to me to apply equally to us.

"Giving to those who don't give up": Simon Barrow offers an example of creative donor education from Christian Aid.

Blues dessert for this week (and I'm off to the airport....)

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