Friday Linkage

A man who rose to fame covering Bob Marley songs and riding the coattails of Lauryn Hill’s amazing voice will probably be the next President of Haiti. Why? Because Presidential elections there probably have the same student-council election vibe that they do here in the ‘States.

Hey, if the good ol’ U.S. of A can elect a man with zero executive experience to the land’s highest office on the strength of his ability to give a speech and celebrity status, who are we to tell Haiti they can’t do the same? Sean Penn, of all people, questioned Wyclef’s motives. The musician tried to allay Penn’s concerns by saying,

I just want Sean Penn to fully understand I am a Haitian, born in Haiti and I’ve been coming to my country ever since (I was) a child. He might just want to pick up the phone and meet, so he fully understands the man.

Oh, OK that should make Spicoli feel a lot better.

America’s sweetheart has converted to Hinduism. So America’s most beloved hooker is now a Hindu while her white trick in shining armor is a Buddhist. In the words of the often imitated but never duplicated Darth Vader, “The circle is now complete”.


I hope none of my ancestors came back as the oysters that produced those pearls

Next time you think about using your car horn when you’re in H-town, consider this.

A federal judge’s decision to strike down California’s Proposition 8 should encourage polygamists nationwide to push for the legalization of their chosen way of life.

The Guardian interviews Tariq Aziz.

Could this be a viable alternative? I smell cow manure, oh wait…

There are throwbacks whose idea of a good time is the beheading of infidels and there are throwbacks whose idea of a swell time differs just a tad.

Texas is #4 in the preseason Coaches’ poll? Methinks that’s a bit high considering it’s a “rebuilding” year…

Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures

Super Best Friends: “Fill Out Your Census Forms!”


Photo credit: Houston Chronicle

Don’t know what particular faith Sheila Jackson Lee (far left, no pun intended) represents, but then again she doesn’t need any excuse or reason to put herself in front of a camera.

And where is Mother Nature’s rep, Al Gore? Click here for the story.

Still Waiting on Rioting Hindus…

Some facts:

It has been 2 weeks since Halloween

This is supermodel Heidi Klum:
klum

This was supermodel Heidi Klum on Halloween dressed up as Kali:
klum halloween 011108

Predictably, Heidi won best costume according to this story:

Heidi Klum faces flak from Hindus for posing as Goddess Kali in Halloween bash

Read more of this post

Coexist

I’m not sure what the artist who created this sticker had in mind. If his point is to call (command? Gasp!) upon people who hold these differing worldviews to get along, who can argue with that?

Hopefully our artist realizes that this is nothing new. In fact in the Gospels, Jesus ups the ante by commanding us to love God and to love our neighbor. Of course, “neighbor” encompasses unregenerate people of any stripe (Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim, Wiccan, etc).

However if his point is that these worldviews are ultimately reconcilable (let us not forget that the same Jesus who told us to love God and our neighbor firmly stated this), then I’m afraid he is sadly mistaken and tragically anachronistic in the sense of extrapolating current moods to older traditions. As noted Christians apologist Ravi Zacharias said,

Anyone who claims that all religions are the same betrays not only an ignorance of all religions but also a caricatured view of even the best-known ones. Every religion at its core is exclusive.

Whatever the artist’s motivation, this story might be an example of my first speculation:
Fighting for their whiskers

The story is about the D.C. Fire Department making their firefighters shave their beards. However there are Christian, Jewish and Muslim firefighters that for religious reasons will keep theirs. In a sense they are banding together to keep their fuzz.

What better way to Coexist than standing up for beards?

Peace Village: More Interfaith Confusion

We believe that all religions are basically the same –
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God and salvation. — from Steve Turner’s “Creed”

Many Christians are angered or disturbed by so-called Interfaith groups. Anger isn’t really an emotion that bubbles up within me when I read about these kind of well-intentioned groups (truly the quip about the road to hell surely applies here).

Confusion is probably what besets me when I read about these types of efforts (previously blogged about it here).

After reading a related article in the Houston Chronicle’s Religion section, I was again puzzled.

“Bound by the Golden Rule”

The story is about a woman, Janie Stevens, who has brought something called “Peace Village” to Houston in order to,

“It helps Christians of all ages learn about their fellow human beings on Earth, within the context of their faith,” she said. “It has been a real eye-opener to see how we all have prayer lives of one form or another and we all acknowledge a higher being.”

Well and good, I for one don’t mind learning about other beliefs. It is somewhat enlightening and astonishing how humans utilize their imagination to worship everything and anything instead of the Living God.

I’m not sure if Stevens’ venture seeks to pretend that these different faiths are all the same and they worship the same god.

Anyone familiar with any of the major world religions can see that as Turner points out in his poem they differ vastly on the important stuff. That there are threads of commonality is beyond dispute but this does not mean that they are the same.

Though this seems to be espoused by a Christian Reverend quoted in the article,

“It’s a wonderful depiction of the major world religions,” said the Rev. Gary H. Jones, director of chaplaincy services for St. Luke’s Episcopal Health Care System. “What I saw as the thread is a way of blessing people — the many ways of blessings, of calling for prayer and calling God in times of need.”

I wonder what Rev. Jones makes of Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman,

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”