I’ve actually written my responses to all of you folks who participated in Ask Roger Anything this past round. And the rest of you people can STILL ASK.
But I’ve bumped my responses back a couple days to answer Arthur; I even postponed my answer to Arthur’s earlier question, so it’s his own fault. He wrote, in response to this post about the US Supreme Court case regarding a store chain, Hobby Lobby, providing contraceptive care:
I’d really like to see you expand on how YOU see this ruling as bad for people of faith. Do you see this case alone as being bad for religion and/or religious people, or is it the ideology behind it? In either case, what bad effects do you personally expect to see or fear may happen?
The answer is all of the above. Next! OK, I guess I’ll expand on this.
Continue reading Why the Hobby Lobby decision is bad for people of faith →
My April was much better than my March, but between blog connectivity problems (more anon), and back pain that kept me out of work for a couple days, followed by four days out of town for work training, which compressed other tasks, I didn’t a chance to update the April Rambling since April 17. Moreover, I discovered some links from as much as two years ago I was GOING to use but they fell through the cracks. Meaning that I’ll do another one at the end of the month. Always said that if blogging got too hard, I would not do it. And this, comparatively, is the easy post I need right now.
An article about depression I was going to include in a different blog post. Some of the earlier posts from this blog I liked too. The blogger also linked to the TEDx talk Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share. “The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.” When I imagine many people’s understanding of depression, I think of that famous scene in the movie Continue reading May Rambling #1: Depression; and ABCW's Leslie gets married →
I like to look for less familiar text for Martin Luther King’s birthday. Unfortunately, soundbites from his I Have a Dream speech, for instance, have been so torn from its context as to make it unrecognizable.
A Knock at Midnight (found here [PDF]) was delivered on 14 September 1958. It has some Cold War references that I removed, not because there aren’t modern day equivalents, but for clarity, and an attempt at brevity. The text was based on Luke 11:5-6, RSV: “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, “Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him”? It’s all MLK until the end.
Although this parable is concerned with the power of persistent prayer, it may also serve as a basis for our thought concerning many contemporary problems and the role of the church in grappling with them. It is midnight in the parable; it is also midnight in our world, and the darkness is so deep that we can hardly see which way to turn…
Midnight is the hour when men desperately seek to obey the eleventh commandment, “Thou shalt not get caught.” Continue reading Knocking at Midnight: Martin Luther King, Jr. →
One of my favorite people in Blogistan, Arthur@AmeriNZ, asks:
You know—of course you do—you had me scurrying for my dictionary to consider the relative merit of “gauntlet” v. “gantlet”. I give you the victory on points.
But that’s not my question. You are religious and at least some of your readers are not. How hard is it for you to overlook what I can only assume is, if not blasphemy, then as close as you can get? Some of us are a bit more stroppy in our irreligiousity than others, so I’m wondering how you reconcile that with you own faith. Or, is it that your faith allows for those who are of differing—even non-religious—beliefs?
This is something that I, as a heathen, have long wondered about.
Arthur, I hyperlinked “stroppy” for my American readers, because I had never heard of the word until I saw or heard you use it.
I think my faith journey has been helpful. Continue reading ROG answers Arthur's Question on Irreligiosity →
Jaquandor, the Buffalo area’s finest blogger, asks:
1. Are there any words you dislike, just because of the sound of them and not necessarily the meaning?
Used to be that German words I tended to dislike as too gutteral. The K sound would get stuck on the roof of my mouth. But I’ve mellowed, and nothing immediately comes to mind.
2. Are there any subjects you really want to know more about and yet never seem to get around to learning about?
Oh, yeah, dozens, everything from various sciences, such as astronomy and botany; to languages, which I do not seem to have a talent for, starting with Spanish and Latin. But I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t do anything about it unless I give up something else, and evidently, I’m not willing to do that.
3. Are you surprised that gay marriage passed in New York? (I am, a little….)
Heck, yeah. It failed miserably some 600 days earlier, when the State Senate was controlled by the Democrats. OK, “controlled” is probably an overstatement Continue reading Roger Answers Your Questions, Tom the Mayor and Jaquandor →
Copyright 2006 by Sidney Harris
Have you ever experienced something that no rational explanation can describe? I did once.
I was living in Schenectady near Albany in the spring of 1978, and I asked out this amazingly beautiful young woman who worked at Albany Savings Bank; at least one parents was from Brazil. Her response was that I could go to church with her sometime.
So one Sunday afternoon, she and some friends picked me up and took me to a church in Troy, a really eclectic group of congregants.
At some point in this LONG service, the pastor went around and asked each person if they had been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Though I had had a “saved” experience when I was nine Continue reading MIRACLES post →
At church this past Sunday, there was a dramatic reading of Matthew 4:1-11, the text in which Jesus, hungry in the wilderness for 40 days, is tempted by the devil. In the service, the choir sang a response praising God periodically during the reading. Then at the end, the devil is walking around the sanctuary, singing the very same song that the choir had been performing. It was quite affecting.
I was reminded of this a couple days ago when I saw on YouTube a video of a young woman praising God for answering the prayers of “the believers”, that “God literally took Japan by shoulders and shook it.” Continue reading The Devil Is In The Details →
With families getting together for the holidays, I was wondering:
Does your family do a blessing for the holiday meal? Is it a corporate blessing (i.e., rote) or is free form? Is there a designated pray-er?
It’s interesting that, even in my more…secular days, there was always a blessing at Thanksgiving and usually at Christmas. One girlfriend always evoked the memory of John F. Kennedy, who died around Thanksgiving in 1963.
Continue reading Meal Blessing QUESTION →