Results tagged ‘ Religion ’

A Tradition that Can’t End Soon Enough

Barack Obama finally came out in support of gay marriage.  I’m not exactly sure why this is news since a majority of the country holds the same position.  By definition, our elected leaders are our representatives and should represent the views that we hold.  Obama’s change of position (which isn’t really all that much of a change if you really think about it) merely puts him on the right side of history and firmly with the majority.

How did we get to this point anyway?  There’s the easy answer that it’s the fault of religion and the myth of “traditional” marriage (which conveniently ignores the other acceptable definitions of marriage laid out by their holy books):

I think it’s simpler than that, though.  People are just afraid of what they don’t know.  Plenty of baseball fans hated Jackie Robinson when he first started playing but 60 years later, the biggest stars in the game are a veritable rainbow coalition.  25 years from now, we’ll be telling similar stories about gay marriage.

Here’s the thing.  Marriage is supposed to be about two people who love each other committing to live and work together.  Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t but the sexuality of the person has nothing to do with their ability to love or make a commitment.  If you want to simplify things even further, here are two examples.  Kim Kardashian had a “traditional” marriage.  This gentleman’s two mothers did not.

Now, would you rather have his two moms as parents or Kim Kardashian?

-A

Pennsylvanian Taliban

Theocracy hasn’t worked so well as a system of government.  Putting aside the cozy politico-religious oligopolies of yesteryear (I’m looking at you, France, and you too, England), today we don’t have to look much further than Iran or Afghanistan to see that basing civil code on religious doctrine leads to a pretty unsavory state of events.  Which leads me to ask, how can anyone still be taking Rick Santorum seriously?

Make no mistake, when Santorum (the “man”, not the “frothy mixture“) says that he doesn’t believe in the separation of church and state, what he is really saying is that he thinks US law should be based on the ten commandments.  Maybe I’m dense but I don’t see how basing a system of government on the Bible is really all that different from basing a system of government on the Quran or on the Torah for that matter, both of which I’m pretty sure Mr. Santorum is against.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist is a fundamentalist.

Quite honestly, the only place I want to see the church governing anything is when it comes to the brewing of beer.  And when I say “governing,” I really only mean allowing monks to keep doing that voodoo that they do so well.  If beer can keep you alive while fasting for a month, it obviously has some sort of higher power.

The seperation of church and state exists for a reason and that’s to keep one single person from becoming both the church and the state.  What happens when one man becomes both?

He may be the most interesting man in the world but I don’t think I’m ready for him to be running America.

-A

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It’s time for THE FILIBUSTER to settle back in the Sunday slot at RSBS!   No matter what the query, send it to RSBSBlog@gmail.com and we’ll let you know what we think.

Can I Talk to You About Mohammed?

Muslims don’t have a tradition of proselytizing.  Sure, they conquered other societies and let them convert if they wanted to, but sending people out as missionaries wasn’t really part of the program.  Even now, Muslim societies with money tend to send that money to Muslim neighbors to strengthen whatever sect within the religion they support.  In short, it’s not very likely that a Saudi is going to knock on your door anytime soon and ask if you’ve had a chance to meet Allah.

In the US, we’ve taken a slightly different tack.  Instead of breaking away from the missionary traditions of our European forefathers, we’ve taken it to all new heights.  It’s not enough that American churches feel compelled to send evangelical missionaries all over the world to teach and convert, they also do the same at home.  And all too often these efforts are aimed at the most vulnerable among us: children.

It’s not just churches.  It’s also role models like sports stars.  When Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin go beyond sports and feel the need to bring Jesus up in every interview, it’s a message to children.  It’s proselytizing.  When Josh Hamilton has to tell people that Jesus saved him from the drugs, that’s a message to children as well.  And as far as I’m concerned, raping children’s minds in this way is just as bad as what someone like Jerry Sandusky did.

There’s a very simple solution to all this:

So, how about it people?  How about we keep it in our pants?  I won’t show you mine if you don’t show me yours.

-A

Freedom of Christianity

When Josh Hamilton says, “It’s a god thing,” he’s applauded for standing up for his faith.  When Tim Tebow kneels down and prays, 43% of people who know of Tebow think that god helps him win.  And when Muhammad Ali cited his faith as the impetus for his conscientious objection to the draft, America celebrates his principled stand.  Oh, wait.  I guess that’s not exactly what happened.

You can argue that Ali is different because of patriotism or the like but it’s hard to say that patriotism alone accounts for what happened to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf while playing for the Denver Nuggets.  The truth of the matter is, despite our vaunted “Freedom of Religion,” the expression of that freedom really only seems to apply to Protestant Christians and the occasional Catholic.  And let’s face it, if you ask the question “What if Tim Tebow were Muslim?” you already know the answer.  God help him if he were an out-and-proud atheist.

-A

Three Up, Three Down

Just like the Cubs’ shot at the 2012 World Series crown, this is going to be fleeting, groan-inducing and will probably offend a great number of people.

The Popey Pope

That guy in the pointy hat made another statement on gay marriage recently, saying it is “one of the most serious threats to the traditional family unit” and that it undermines “the very future of humanity.”

Hmm.  I can think of a bazillion things that are a far greater danger to the very future of humanity, like, protecting monsters who rape children, making it illegal for someone to marry whom he/she loves, and not challenging a discourse that is solely based on bronze age delusions “encouraged” by an invisible sky daddy.

Two More Years of Bud Selig

Ugh.  Really?  If only MTV could rock the MLB owners’ vote.  No more King Bud!  Things have gotten better recently, yes, but there are at least three egregious errors committed during his reign that demand a new king: 1) Not addressing the PED issue until it was too late 2) the ongoing All-Star Game yields World Series home field advantage fiasco and 3) being the last of the big four to launch its own network (seriously, it’s sad when the NHL beats you, at anything).

Also, I can think of at least three perfect candidates for the commissioner’s job: Joe Torre, Bob Costas and ME!!!

The GOP

Between Mitt, Santorum and a bevy of derailed crazy trains, I can only shake my head as I watch the Republican party fall deeper and deeper into delirium.  If only our political leaders would take a page out of Aussie PM Bob Hawke’s book:

Now THAT, my friends, is a dear leader.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Good Night Sweet Hitch

With all the craziness of the free-agent market, the Ryan Braun saga and Tim Tebow’s impossible ascendancy over the past few weeks, it was easy to lose track of the other big stories. Not at RSBS, though.  Especially not when one of those stories was the untimely death of the hard-living, hard-charging and hard-nosed Christopher Hitchens.

He may not have always been likable but you always had to admit that he had a point.  I particularly enjoyed his takedown of the not-so-saintly and surprisingly sanctimonious Mother Theresa.  It’s even better when you hear him say it because that dry, British delivery gives it the little extra zip that really drives the point home:

Goodbye Christopher.  And since you knew as well as I that there’s no after-life, I’ll just say thank you.

-A

Let’s Get Real

There are only two serious contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.  Ok, let me rephrase.  There are only two contenders for the Republican presidential nomination who should be taken seriously.  And yet somehow, the polls see the Republicans bouncing from one disaster to the next.  Is Mormonism really so bad that you’d prefer Herman Cain?

Because let’s face it, there are only two guys who could win a general election.  Obama may be down for the moment but he’s got a year and he also has a formidable machine.  Without actual ideas, the challengers aren’t going to get very far.

Let me try to explain this in other terms.  Obama is the St. Louis Cardinals in August.  In August, even Jeff knew the Cardinals were toast and should start looking at their chances for the next season.  Two months later, they head home as World Series champions.  That’s Obama.

If you want to beat that, you better have a realistic alternative.  And just for the record, “9-9-9″ is not a realistic alternative nor is a twice-divorced has-been looking for a comeback.  Realistic is having run the U.S. Embassy in China.  Realistic is making universal health care palatable to both sides of the aisle.  Realistic is Huntsman or Romney and unless the Republicans realize that soon, realistic is also an Obama win in 2012.

-A

The Filibuster

Tim Pawlenty is out of the race and Rick Perry is in.  Bachmann wins the straw poll but is still bat-sh*t insane.  If the Republican primary is a pennant race, who’s your horse?

Paul
Annandale, MI
___________________________________

Oh boy.

Metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends.

If the Republican primary is a pennant race, then it must be in the Arena Football League because I am finding it quite difficult taking any of them seriously.

Michele Bachmann?  Um… no.

Rick Perry?  Um… also no.

Please note my severe reluctance to support any candidate who harbors a deep relationship with imaginary friends who tend to be bipolar, judgmental, homophobe racists.

Rick Santorum?  Noooo.

Mitt Romney?  Double noooo.  Though I am still waiting for his endorsement of the Mormon Underwear website.

Newt Gingrich?  Yikes!  Now we’re really gettin’ into the thick of crazy!

Jimmy McMillan?  Okay, now we’ve reached the bottom.

Thad McCotter?  Cool name.  Boring everything else.

Sorry, Paul… ya see, unlike picking an MLB winner, crawling through this web of same-ole-same-ole GOP crazies is a bit difficult.  There is no Philadelphia Phillies lights-out candidate.  There is no Yankee flyer.  There is no Red Sox contender.

No.

But, wait… there is… hmm… there is hope.  And no, I’m not talking about the empty promise sounding “hope” dished out ad nauseum by the Obama campaign to dupe intellectual lefties like myself during the ’08 race.  No.  Staying here, within the “Republican” party, there is… there is another.

But before I can declare my allegiance, I need to think on it.  I need to think on it very, very carefully.  While I do so, remember not to hate me (because I’m right) and please enjoy this informational video thoughtfully prepared by the RSBS interns:


To be continued…

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Interested to know why Mr. Krause still can’t believe it’s not butter?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

What’s So Good About Good Friday?

I hate Easter.  The candy sucks.  It’s all about some dead guy.  And the worst part is that it’s on a Sunday so I don’t even get a day off of work.  At least Columbus and MLK get me a freebie.

As bad as Easter may be, Good Friday is even worse.  Although the candy sucks on Easter, at least there is candy.  What do you get for Good Friday?  Nothing.  There’s still school, there’s still work, there are no presents and if that wasn’t bad enough, teams are forced to reshuffle their schedules.  Why, just two short years ago the entire Detroit Tigers franchise almost got sentenced to an eternity in hell for playing their home opener on Good Friday.

Luckily 2011 is the year of revolt and I say we continue where the Egyptians and Tunisians left off.  Leave work early, get drunk, hunt down the Easter bunny and make rabbit stew.  This year, let’s actually make it a Good Friday.

-A

Orthodoxy, Zombies and Baseball

Jeff_2009.jpgWhen Jeff and I discuss our views on the past, present and future of baseball, we often disagree but rarely allow the dissent to become mean-spirited.  Sure, there may be the occasional ad hominem attack comparing the other person to Neville Chamberlain but it’s all in good fun.  Baseball, like most aspects of life, evolves over time and as choices get made, we see how those choices affect the game and debate the effects.

What happens when your debate can never be settled, though?  For instance, what happens when the the debate itself is grounded in faith and a belief that things work one way or another in the afterlife?  I’m not talking about zombies here, because we (and others) have already made preparations for that.  If and when the zombie apocalypse comes, the fact of whether or not we were ready will be easily observable.

Instead, I’m talking once again about religion and what happens when someone challenges the orthodoxy.  For Galileo, it meant facing the Inquisition.  For Martin Luther, it meant excommunication.  For Rob Bell, no one knows as of yet.  That doesn’t mean the religious establishment hasn’t automatically turned their guns on him, though.

For me, the argument is moot since I don’t believe in god.  But the fact that Mr. Bell has decided to address the sticky question of what happens to those who don’t believe in the christian god but also never heard about him, exhibits a little less disingenuous thought than one commonly expects from the hardcore evangelicals.  It would be nice if my coauthor had similar intestinal fortitude when considering baseball orthodoxy.

-A

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