Friday, August 20, 2010

Lie to Me, Please!

Crazies on the left want to believe that Bush lied about 9/11.  Now a growing number on the right want to believe that Obama is not telling the truth about being a Muslim.  What is this obsessive need to believe we are being lied to?

From ABC News blog . .

Growing Number of Americans Falsely Believe President Obama is Muslim

August 19, 2010 8:11 AM

A new poll from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicates that the number of Americans who erroneously believe President Obama is a Muslim is growing.

In March 2009, the percentage was 11 percent. Today, it's 18 percent.

The percentage of those asserting that the president is a Christian -- which he is -- has gone down in that time, from 48% in March 2009 to 34% today.

A plurality of Americans -- 43% -- say they don't know what religion the president is.

Read More

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Obama Considers Fatwa . . . Funny

From . .  .

ScrappleFace: News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher

Obama Mulls Fatwa Against 24% Who Think He’s Muslim

(2010-08-19) — The White House today refused to comment on reports that President Barack Obama has considered seeking a fatwa — a kind of religious ruling — against the 24 percent of Americans who incorrectly think he’s a Muslim. However, the president did clarify that a fatwa, despite popular misconception, does not necessarily involve a death sentence.

Read More

Who Gives More? Rich or Poor?

The rich are different from you and me

They are more selfish

LIFE at the bottom is nasty, brutish and short. For this reason, heartless folk might assume that people in the lower social classes will be more self-interested and less inclined to consider the welfare of others than upper-class individuals, who can afford a certain noblesse oblige. A recent study, however, challenges this idea. Experiments by Paul Piff and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, reported this week in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggest precisely the opposite. It is the poor, not the rich, who are inclined to charity.

Read more here.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Don Henley, the Prophet of Pop says, "How Can Love Survive in Such a Graceless Age?"

Have you ever wondered why it is so much easier to receive grace than to extend it?  I heard Ed Dobson speak recently saying the hardest part of living like Jesus for a full year was blessing and praying for those who persecute you.  I've never been persecuted, not really.  But even the opposition or criticism I do face, although quite mild, pushes me toward becoming a graceless person.  It is so insidious!

What happens is, I get tempted to use all kinds of religious language to make me feel better about myself, casting myself as the poor, unfortunate, righteous victim of the evil attacks of the devil and his minions - or something like that.  Whether I am right or not is beside the point now.  The truth is I am hurting, and the only thing I can think to do is hurt back.  Which of course makes me at least as bad as those who oppose, or persecute or criticize me.  And my soul begins to decay.

I want grace for myself, but not for those who oppose me.  They don't deserve it.  I do.  Never mind that this attitude reflects a lack of understanding of even the definition of grace.  I want what I want.

But until I begin responding like Jesus, and praying for and blessing, loving, reaching out to and forgiving those who curse me or persecute me, all of my responses only serve to dig a deeper hole for myself.  And if I do not respond like Jesus, one day not too long from now, I may find that I have dug the grave for my ability to truly, selflessly, unconditionally love anyone at all.  My love would always thereafter come with strings attached, which of course is not really love. 

So here's "The Heart of The Matter."  I ache when I go through conflict.  But my prayer is not so much to be delivered from it (although that would be wonderful!), but to be able to use it as an opportunity, by God's strength working through my weakness, to refine my ability to become a grace-filled person who lives and loves as Jesus did.  It's so hard, and so worth it.