RE: Alan Wolfe and the Taming of Religion
I think that perhaps Wolfe's position on religion and government in America is a more honest approach to the "melting pot" of cultures and religions of our country; and I think his argument is Catholic in its attempts to include and respect the value of various cultural influences and background, and to affirm the existence and identity of all Americans, whether black, white, muslim, jew, christian or secular etc. One cannot forget the problem of identity; disparagement of an individual's experience and culture on a basis of prejudice or fear is entirely unproductive and damaging to the authenticity of religious belief and practice, especially to that of the one who disparages. I think "Liberal democratic values" are worth defending and this is why: as in all attempts to connect diverse humans to others not like themselves, there is stumbling, there is idealism, there is cynicism, but hope allows for this arduous journey, for the heart to move toward the hearts of others, for openness to bring the individual peace and love that will eventually, miraculously overflow to our society as a whole.
RE: Why I Love Obama
A thought: What is pro-life? Does it refer only to the life of an unborn child? Or does it also refer to lives of Iraqi children, mothers, fathers, of all innocents that are killed but the responsibility for their deaths is not as easy to pinpoint, nor as comfortable to examine, since one cannot stand in opposition so easily as one who has never had an abortion, or does not know someone who has, or perhaps whose child or friend would never reveal that they had one for shame and fear of rejection... Defense of open markets, militarism and the destruction of foreign cultures for individual and corporate prosperity may be just as damning as voting for Obama (please note sarcasm); defense of torture, of false imprisonment, of denying certain persons (who have not been convicted of a crime) of basic human rights, smacks more of fascism than accepting a pro-choice platform. If life begins AND continues, why must you stake your vote on ONE violation of the sanctity of human life rather than examining every position regarding the sanctity of human life, nuanced or obvious, of the candidates?
RE: Why I Love Obama
Hi Chassup, Thank you for the very thoughtful response. I agree with you in theory, and to some extent in action, but I find it difficult to believe that an examination of the current stance of the Republican party and the majority of its members will yield the conclusion that it/they is/are pro-life as you define it (and by the way, with which I whole-heartedly agree); and I would like to know how any moral person can support individuals who turn a blind eye to or actively support the policies of wiretapping of free citizens, the imprisonment of "terrorists" at Guantanamo Bay, the "necessary evil" of over 1 million Iraqi casualties (source: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/iraq/iraqdeaths.html), the complete ignorance towards the pockets of American culture that are hopelessly mired in poverty, abuse and disenfranchisement.... how can anyone keep voting for politicians who have long-supported all these anti-life positions just because the SAY they are pro-life. Might it not be a ruse to garner votes? And might it not be a worthless endeavor to worry about overturning Roe v Wade any longer and simply work on a more organic and productive level to save unborn children, to improve the society into which they are born, to help the family unit that they will grow up in, and to assure a more peaceful and less intrusive government to protect them? I just can't see how personal conscience does not also apply to other forms of protecting the sanctity of human life.
RE: Get Married! The Case for Tying the Knot Early
Marriage without passion? How many of those go up in flames? Too many to count! I agree that the quest for "experience" is a doomed expedition when it comes to love and sex, but I do believe that at times a relationship may become physical at the right time, even if it is before marriage... I think sometimes we are too logical about love, too obsessed with what is possible, that we might be missing something that will take us to new heights... but I also think that "settling" is unwise... perhaps the real problem is identity and self-knowledge, which come from some experience (not necessarily romantic),difficult reflection, AND the absolute MUST of feeling. One cannot know the self unless one feels, has the courage to feel and resists the urge to SOLVE the feelings. I find this issue of identity closely linked with intimacy and the success or failure of romantic relationships, indeed of any relationship... in the end, the rules (there are various lists) may not be as important as we all think, but this challenge, to "know thyself" and as Emerson said, to come to "trust thyself" may be the key to question of experience and fulfillment.