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Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

While living in San Francisco, I was always a little concerned that I may have been in non-compliance with a California State Department of Transportation regulation. It appeared to me that it might have been mandatory to display both a state-issued license plate on the back of my car, along with a “COEXIST” bumper sticker.

The message of COEXIST is, I suppose, interesting in terms of its banal universality. Almost all of us earnestly desire to live peacefully with one another. There is, however, the ever-present and small group of people who would wish the rest of us dead. While I am not at all certain of this, I suppose (at least in theory) the COEXIST bumper stickers could potentially wear on the psyches of this latter group, causing them to re-think their murderous positions. Unfortunately, the message is not directed at the world’s most deadly extremists. It is directed at the rest of us.

A few weeks ago I encountered a more interesting configuration of messages on the back of a car in front of me. The ubiquitous COEXIST bumper sticker was situated immediately next to a “fat” Christian “fish” symbol that had been embedded with the word BUDDHA. The irony was absolutely impressive.

If I could have talked with the driver of the car, I would have asked; “So let me get this right. You want all of us to live in peace and harmony, and yet at the same time, you have no qualms about simultaneously insulting the faith systems of those around you? Is that what you intended to communicate?” My guess is that the owner of the vehicle had not even begun to ponder the absurd levels of their exhibited hypocrisy. Essentially, their message was this: We can all live in a state of political bliss…if everyone simply agrees with them. If everyone else can just learn to be tolerant, then life will be wonderful. At least the logic is simple.

I have just one question. Shouldn’t the rules we personally make up apply to ourselves?

Liberals always fail to recognize [...]

Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

Finally! Osama bin Laden Dead!

On national television this evening, President Obama informed the public that bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with a small team of America forces who had attacked a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan in an effort to capture the Al Queda leader. There were no American casualties.

The President's speech covered just about every aspect of the situation, and reflected on the history of bin Laden and his murderous mayhem on the world. He also keyed in on an important fact: Al Queda has not been shut down. There will likely be continued attacks along with targeted reprisals for today's successful operation.

Although the details are still sketchy, it appears that the terror leader was killed earlier in the day, and presumably verification and notification of certain world leaders was necessary before notifying the public at large.

Although there will doubtless be days and weeks of analysis of bin Laden's killing, the events leading up to it, the aftermath, the statement it makes to terrorists, the statement it makes to leaders like Gaddafi (who just lost his own son in a NATO attack that appears to have targeted him). As the President said, it is important to remember that a large number of people in the military, intelligence, domestic security, foreign partners and our elected leaders have worked hard for the last 10 years to search out those responsible for 9/11 and to protect our interests, and they have done a magnificent job despite occasional problems.

The President deserves congratulations and [...]

Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

Rosa Parks, Robert Graetz, Liberty and Justice

rosa_parksToday is the anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks made waves in Montgomery Alabama in 1955 by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. What Rosa did that day sparked a movement resulting from pressure that had been building for almost 100 years. African Americans, who had been freed from slavery by Abraham Lincoln, were forced to endure a century of contempt, disdain and abuse from white Americans. Our society, although founded by men who rejected the concept of social classes, was maintaining a dual class existence and legally forcing people of color to live a servile existence. This was wrong. By the power and grace of God, this finally changed in America as a result of the boycotts, rallies, legal wranglings, and efforts of the Federal Courts and finally Congress. Although one may believe strongly in the sovereignty of the states, clearly the rights of United States citizens was being abridged by the actions and/or inaction of many of those states, and the Federal government needed to act. When I contemplate these events, it always amazes me that human beings can be so incredibly dysfunctional. It certainly makes greater sense to me to see an individual here or there who is so stupid that they actually think they are superior to others. But to think that large swathes of our society would actually continue to look down on others because of a history that is over two generations old, and especially in a time following the horrors of Nazi Germany, that they could continue to look upon other humans as just wild cattle that had been let loose and whose status as free men and women had to be tolerated. How could our country reach this point? I think the answer to [...]
Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

Always Remember

WTC LightsIt was eight years ago today, as many days into George W. Bush's Presidency then as we are now in Barack Obama's, that we were viciously attached by an enemy that seeks only to terrorize and devastate us. They have less honor than the Japanese ever did, no apparent desire to take control of our land, and no official standing with the U.N. or any western nation that could provide even a modicum of legitimacy to their actions. And they attacked a civilian target. It is not enough to move on from this. Moving on has become a weary forgetfulness that leaves us emotionally and physically unprepared for the reality of a difficult world and the evil intents of those who hate us. Moving on from Hitler's Germany has left us so dreadfully unscarred that when we see the rise of leaders like Saddam Hussein, we still think we can negotiate our way from the risk of land-grabbing military campaigns, or can turn a blind eye to genocide in places like Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur. We may not be the world's police, but we can and should be part of the the conscience and leadership that makes this world free. And perhaps there will be times when we must stand alone for what is right. It is not enough to move on and yet forget the fortitude it took to work together to emerge from the rubble intact. That fortitude, the wise watching that followed, and the integrity to face head-on the military and political attacks on our nation and all people who long to be free across the world, are what we will need to continue as a strong nation. Let's remember those who fell as innocent victims and as rescuers. Remember the price they paid, that we paid in losing them, and the vision of freedom that stirs in every human heart.

Dems uncomfortable when their own tactics used against them

So, this morning comes a note from "Think Progress".... a website which contributes to neither thought, nor progress... The article whines about a report from The Politico. Says the amazingly accurately initialed TP:
This morning, Politico reported that Democratic members of Congress are increasingly being harassed by “angry, sign-carrying mobs and disruptive behavior” at local town halls. For example, in one incident, right-wing protesters surrounded Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) and forced police officers to have to escort him to his car for safety. This growing phenomenon is often [...]
Coexistence and a Christian Buddha

How Independent Are We?

declaration-of-independenceTwo hundred and thirty-three years ago, the men of the Second Continental Congress made a bold gesture as they sought to uncleave themselves from their ties with Great Britain. A gesture intended to convey that they were serious about the war that was already raging on the American Continent. A gesture intended to tell the world, and perhaps garner the support of other countries, that the American Colonies could not and would not continue to live under the yolk of a tyrannical King and Parliament. A gesture that could cost them all, and indeed did cost some, their lives and their properties. The Declaration of Independence was written primarily to formalize the decision to separate the colonies from British rule. It also sought to communicate the importance of concepts of liberty that were lacking in the current arrangement with the Britsh Monarchy. Subjected to Britain's control though they were, equal to other British Subjects living in the homeland they were not. Even in attempts to seek the kind of autonomy eventually considered standard within the British Empire were at that time brushed aside... self-government was not in the best interest of Britain at that time. Many know that the original Jeffersonian draft of the Declaration included a statement that could not be agreed upon by the 13 "free and independent states"... that is, regarding slavery. Incredible that the words "...all men are created equal..." would remain in a document that could not hold the words:
"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivatng [sic] and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce." (Washington State University Web Site: Original Draft of The Declaration of Independence)
But these and more words were removed by a Congress that was unwilling to do the right thing, as it would have an impact on the economy of some southern states. So our beginnings were not perfect. We moved forward tolerating [...]
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