Archive for the ‘bible’ Category

Gaza: Choosing God’s Power or Military Power

December 30, 2008

On the Shabbat of Hanukkah (December 27), the starkest choice of values and visions of the future was laid before the Jewish people throughout the world.

On the one hand, Jews throughout the world were reading in synagogue the Prophetic vision of Zechariah, no stranger to exile and humiliation, writing from the midst of the Babylonian Captivity 2,500 years ago and looking forward to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the relighting of its Menorah — both of which had been destroyed by Babylonian militarism. This rebuilding and relighting, Zechariah proclaimed, must be achieved not by mobilizing might and power against Babylonia but by drawing on the Infinite Spirit, God’s power. A vision reinforced by the Rabbis who chose the passage to be read on the holy day that might otherwise easily fall into a celebration of the military might and power of the Maccabees.

By Arthur Waskow
The Washington Post

On the other hand — on the very same day!! — at least 225 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombs in one more attempt to quell by might and power the use of violence (on a much smaller scale) by Hamas, in what Hamas claims to be a retaliation against the Israeli blockade and semi-starvation of the people of Gaza.

The two choices were to be found in two texts:

The First: “Not by Might, and not by Power — but by My Breathing Spirit, says YHWH Infinite.” — Zechariah 4: 6.

The Second: The New York Times, December 27, 2008:

“GAZA — Waves of Israeli air strikes destroyed Hamas security facilities in Gaza on Saturday in a crushing response to the group’s rocket fire, killing more than 225 — the highest one-day toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in decades.

Read the rest:


Obama Overconfident?

December 23, 2008

He’s “The One.”  He’ll take the oath on Lincoln’s bible and will not shy away from comparisons to Linoln. He’s not phased by Putin, Medvedev, Ahmadinijad or Hu….He says he can win over enemies and calm internal and international turmoil. And he has embraced both Rick Warren and Jeremiah Wright….



Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) thinks that President-elect Obama picked same-sex marriage opponent Rick Warren to give the inauguration invocation because Obama “overestimates” his ability to unify people.

“Oh, I believe that he overestimates his ability to get people to put aside fundamental differences,” said Frank, the first House member to come out of the closet voluntarily.

Frank, on MSNBC on Monday, said that he’s delighted Obama was elected and that the country is headed into the “best time” for public policy since the New Deal.

“But my one question is, I think he overestimates his ability to take people, particularly our colleagues on the right, and, sort of, charm them into being nice,” Frank said. “I know he talks about being post-partisan. But I’ve worked, frankly, with Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay, the current Republican leadership. The current Republican leadership in the House repudiated George Bush. I don’t know why Mr. Obama thinks he’s going to have them better than George Bush.

“And so, to be honest, when he talks about being post-partisan, having seen these people and knowing what they would do in that situation, I suffer from post-partisan depression,” Frank said jokingly.

By Walter Alarkon
The Hill

‘Overwhelming’ expectations worry Biden

Read the rest:

Barack Obama and Rick Warren: Odder Than a Three Dollar Bill

December 18, 2008

Any strange, weird, or bizarre union or alliance is, to my friend, “Odder than a three dollar bill.”

Rick Warren is an evangelical minister that does not believe in same sex marriage.  In fact, he fights against it and believes that God and the bible are on his side.

President-elect Barack Obama has been considered a friend to the gay community and most said he’s support gay marriage and the rights of gay men and women to live as married people.

Now, Mr. Obama has chosen Mr. (Reverend) Warren to pray at his inauguration: to give the invocation.

An ivocation is an asking or a calling.  An invocation is normally an asking that God will come into an event, a group and/or a person.

Gays may wonder: if Barack Obama is calling on Pastor warren to invoke God to enter the Obama inauguration; and Rick Warren’s God doesn’t believe in gays, the gay lifestyle or gay marriage, where does that leave them?  Will Rick Warren’s God condemn them?

Weirder than a three dollar bill.

Gay Leaders Furious with Obama Over Rick Warren

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in California is pictured ... 
Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church in California is pictured in September 2008. Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of the conservative evangelical pastor to deliver a religious invocation at his January 20 presidential inauguration ceremony. AFP


(CNN) — Rick Warren — the man at the center of an inaugural firestorm — has built his career on an uncontroversial reputation.

The irony of the furor over Warren’s selection to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremony is that the California minister first drew notice for his determination to expand the evangelical agenda beyond hot-button social issues like opposition to same-sex marriage.

Warren has been described as the next Billy Graham, an evangelical leader with a moderate reputation and mass-market appeal — although instead of massive open-air rallies and an out-sized television presence, Warren focused on forging partnerships with unlikely allies working to protect the environment and fight AIDS.

As a pioneer of the mega-church movement, Warren looked to translate traditional evangelical messages for a wider audience. He penned “The Purpose-Driven Life,” a spiritually based self-help guide that brought mainstream best-seller status to a muted religious message.

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

Above: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration.

In his model, everyday concerns were a top priority: Attendees at his Saddleback Church — now more than 20,000 strong — could expect free classes on home finance, or assistance with child care needs.

Warren urged ministers to adopt a Madison Avenue approach: to super-charge the growth of congregations by fine-tuning their pitch for the “un-churched.” He released bullet-point sermons with crossover potential, along with material to help churchgoers follow along. The church atmosphere he called for was a relaxed one, with dressed-down ministers leading services in nontraditional venues, featuring easy-listening music chosen with younger listeners in mind.

Read the rest:

Gay Leaders Furious with Obama Over Rick Warren

December 18, 2008

Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight.


Rick Warren, the senior pastor of Saddleback Church in southern California, opposes abortion rights but has taken more liberal stances on the government role in fighting poverty, and backed away from other evangelicals’ staunch support for economic conservatism. But it’s his support for the California constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage that drew the most heated criticism from Democrats Wednesday.

Pastor Rick Warren at Saddleback Church

“Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,” the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote Obama Wednesday. “[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.”

By Ben Smith, Nia-Malika Henderson

The rapid, angry reaction from a range of gay activists comes as the gay rights movement looks for an opportunity to flex its political muscle. Last summer gay groups complained, but were rebuffed by Obama, when an “ex-gay” singer led Obama’s rallies in South Carolina. And many were shocked last month when voters approved the California ban.

“There is a lot of energy and there’s a lot of anger and I think people are wanting to direct it somewhere,” Solomonese told Politico.

Read the rest:

In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential ...
In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, joins Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, for a discussion on moral issues. Aretha Franklin will sing, Warren will pray and more than 11,000 U.S. troops will be watching over the ceremonies in case of a terrorist attack during President-elect Barack Obama’s Inauguration.(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)