Ann of Arc
As a liberal Christian, I believe that it is God's job, not mine, to judge people.
God is the only lawgiver and judge. He alone can save and destroy. Who do you think you are, to judge someone else? James 4:12
So I won't say that Ann Coulter is a fake Christian.
I will, however, say that she is one weird Christian
Ann Coulter is interviewed by George Wayne in this month's issue of Vanity Fair
"Coulter is one wierd Christian."
As usual, George Wayne leads with his rude sexual taunts but it's the Christianity of Coulter that is revealing, which she mentions three times in a fairly short interview.
George Wayne: What do you consider yourself?
Ann Coulter: A patriot and a Christian.
Wayne: You are a Christian?
Coulter: Yes, sort of a mean Christian.
Since Christianity is half her primary identity, I'm sure she has read this passage:
By our purity, knowledge, patience, and kindness we have shown ourselves to be God's servants---by the Holy Spirit, by our true love, 2 Corinthians 6:6
and this one:
The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. Gal 5:22-22
or the whole bunch of other verses which make "mean Christian" a total oxymoron.
Wayne: How come we don't hear any more rumors about POTUS and Condi? It's obvious they adore each other. And who can forget her Freudian slip when she called him "my husband."
Coulter: They are both Republican and Christian so no one has to worry about that.
Coulter must put her fingers in her ears and go "la! la! la! la!" whenever there's a report about yet another Republican caught in an affair.According to one tally
, prominent Republicans out-philander Democrats three to one.
Coulter reminds me of those Muslims who won't accept that a haji can do serious sin. "Republican? Check
. Christian? Check
. You're a saint!"
Democrats three to one."
Coulter: The great idea, G.W., was the one I launched on the night of 9/11. You really can't improve upon, "Invade their country, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
Until this interview, I assumed that Coulter was completely freaked-out on 911 and blurted out something really stupid, which she now regrets.
Not so. She actually thinks re-waging the crusades is a peachy idea! (It went so well the last time, I guess.)
Since Coulter is a Christian, she's surely read Romans:
All have turned away from God.... their speech is filled with bitter curses. They are quick to hurt and kill; they leave ruin and destruction wherever they go. They have not known the path of peace, nor have they learned reverence for God." Romans 3:12-18
I can't imagine how Coulter these verses in her mind with invasions, murders and forced conversions.
Can our government be rich AND Christian?
I translate the New Testament as a hobby (weird, I know)
and last night I was working on this passage from James 2:
6b Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? 7Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? (NIV)
While the bible has a few things to say about homosexuality and hints at abortion. IT HAS TONS to say about the rich, wealth, greed, etc... many many of verses.
Here's another James passage,
And now, you rich people , listen to me! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches have rotted away, and your clothes have been eaten by moths. Your gold and silver are covered with rust, and this rust will be a witness against you, and eat up your flesh like fire. You have piled up riches in these last days... Your life here on earth has been full of luxury and pleasure. You have made yourselves fat for the day of slaughter. James 5:1-3,5 (TEB)
This passage is strong but not rare in the bible.
Here's one bible study on money
but you can Google others if you don't believe me.
So, if Bush and the Religious Right want America to be based on Christian principles why in the heck are they top loading our government with multi-gazillionaires like Hank Paulson, chairman of Goldman Sachs?
OK, the White house spin on him is that he is very charitable. Good for him.
Hopefully, he's the rare rich man who will squeeze through the eye of a needle.
Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Luke 18:25 (NIV)
Can our government really be "Christian" if it is led by a class of people so condemned by the bible?
I love this story!
Dubai: Joyce Germanos waited for 21 years to thank her rescuer.A reunion to remember
An explosion wiped out several members of her family in the Christian Lebanese Beirut neighbourhood of Sinn Al Fil on May 22, 1985. Three-month-old Joyce lived, thanks to Nabeel Bitar, the Red Cross officer who pulled her out of the rubble.
Several weeks ago, a grateful Joyce was reunited with her rescuer during a talk show on Lebanon's Future TV. During the live show Seere Wa Nfatahit with Zaven Qeomijian, that was aired as a special tribute to the Lebanese Red Cross Organisation, an emotional Joyce thanked Bitar for saving her life leaving the audience choked with emotion.
And on Saturday, when Joyce was the blushing bride at her wedding in the Lebanese capital, who else would be there ?
Destiny brought Bitar and the AFP photographer Patrick Baz, who took the picture of the rescue 21 years ago. They watched her walk down the aisle. It was a picture to remember.
I've known people victimized by terrorist attacks and it is a huge watershed event in their personal lives but only a minor story in the day's news cycle for the rest of the world. The news goes on while these people try to put their lives together again.
I also wonder about the bombers. The event that changed this woman's life is so obscure I couldn't even Google it. But my prayer is that whoever planted that bomb will look at these photos, feel remourse, and allow redemption into their lives.
So I just love this story... a baby pulled from the rubble of a bomb and then growing into a beautiful young woman who reunites with those who helped her and witnessed her tragedy.
The sticky question for Sensenbrenner - How much will your proposal cost?
a congressman who seems concerned about the cost of securing the borders.
"It's too much too soon, and too expensive,'' said Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis. "What we have to do is first secure the border, and then we have to turn off the magnet that brings more illegal immigrants into our country.Key Rep. Opposes 'Path to Citizenship'
I'm going to email James Sensenbrenner and ask him how much it will cost to secure our border. Surely he has thought about this and at least has a ballpark figure for me.
I still have not heard back from either Tancredo or Boehner .
Please email James Sensenbrenner
yourself and ask him,
"How much will it cost to secure our borders?"
Feel free to use my letter: BorderSecurityCostLetter.txt
Unrepentant Bush still at it.
I'm waiting for an apology from Bush for his demagoging of 911.
I still feel the sting of being called anti-troop because I didn't want them to die needlessly.
He was shameless! If anyone dared question his decisions, no matter how disastrous, they were labeled soft on terrorism or anti-troops.
His shamelessness continues -- this Memorial day, Bush was again playing politics with the dead.
The president vowed to honor those who had died in Iraq and Afghanistan "by completing the mission for which they gave their lives: by defeating the terrorists, by advancing the cause of liberty and by laying the foundation of peace for a generation of young Americans."Bush Invokes the Fallen, Past and Present
OK, we get it. Those of us who demand a firm exit plan are not honoring the war dead.
I hope more Americans see through this folly... for the sake of honor Bush can't admit defeat but until he admits reality, America will have more and more dead to honor.
Letter to Boehner and Tancredo
FYI, Here is a copy of the letter I sent to Tom Tancredo but to which he didn't reply. I just sent a copy to John Boehner. I wonder if he'll reply?
Feel free to copy-and-paste this email and send it to your congressman.
Dear Representative Boehner,
I manage a blog called LiberalGrace.com and am writing a series of articles about the costs of border security. Since you are, perhaps, the highest profile advocate of border security I hope you can answer this fundamental question.HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO SECURE THE BORDER?I don't need an exact cost, a ballpark estimate will do. But I'm not interested initial costs of a few thousand troops or a few hundred miles of fence. I want the real, on-going cost of the whole project: * Initial costs for building a wall and prisons.
* On-going costs of patrolling, arrest, repatriation, etc.
* Costs of guarding the coasts within boat range of Mexico. * Cost of financing this with debt. Can you provide this information to me?Thank you very much.
LG's Sticky Question - How much will border security cost?
With all the cries for "Secure the borders first, THEN we'll discuss immigration reform" I have to ask one question:
"How much will it cost to secure our borders?"
I emailed this question to Tom Tancredo, one of the most vocal on border security.
No answer from Mr. Tancredo.
Has he even thought about it? Or perhaps Mr. Tancredo knows but doesn't want to use the word "trillions".
If you have a congressman who is hot-to-trot for border security, please ask him/her this question: "How much will it cost to secure out borders?"
Let's not give up this key question just because they don't want to answer. If your congressmen gives a believable answer, please share it with us.
And don't let them give you a lowball initial cost for a few thousand troops or a few hundred miles of fence. We need to know how much it will cost for the full 2000 miles plus the southern seacoasts.
One-Question Interview with Juliet Eilperin
Juliet Eilperin is a prolific writer for the Washington Post and author of Fight Club Politics : How Partisanship is Poisoning the U.S. House of Representatives.
If Democrats win back congress in November, I don't want it to be a "Fight Club" with Democrats beating up the conservatives. I want a return to healthy politics.
If you could give one piece of advice to Nancy Pelosi, what would it be?Juliet Eilperin:
This is the advice I would give to Nancy Pelosi: Learn from the GOP, and remember if you want a sustainable, governing majority you might want to consider building bridges to the other party, rather than treating Republicans they way they have treated you over the past decade.
I have no idea about the religious perspective of Ms. Eilperin but I will give her a ringing endorsement as a Christian. As Jesus said:
Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:31 NIV)
If, the Democrats do take the house, as I hope, my prayer is that they won't be just as ruthless as the conservatives. I hope they remember what it felt like to be shut-out and treated like the enemy.
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America Hero Watch - John Batiste
It looks like Major General John Batist isn't going to shut up. Let's hope!
Unlike most of his colleagues, who are expected to settle back into comfortable and low-key retirement after making their point, General Batiste has no intention of keeping quiet.Pentagon chief 'wasted US lives in Iraq'
Instead, the former career soldier, who resigned last year after commanding 22,000 troops of the US Army's 1st Infantry Division, is planning a sustained public offensive aimed at driving Rumsfeld from office.
"I'm as mad as hell," he said. "I'm not stopping. They can hand wave me off, dismiss me, but I'm coming back, again and again and again until there is some accountability."
I recommend reading the whole article
which doesn't seem to have made a ripple in the US media despite Batiste's authority and unflinching charges against Rumsfeld.
So I'm adding him to my American Hero Watch.
And I'm waiting for some vicious swiftboating
Sincerity Cage Match
It is pretty big deal that Bush finally 'fessed up to mistakes. It reminded me of Clinton's confession which, at the time, conservatives widely mocked and rejected for lack of sincerity. So I decided to compare the two.Bill Clinton's Confession
Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible...
I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
I'll give this confession four stars. It clearly identifies the mistake and failure but I'll deduct one star for the slightly couched language and no clear request for forgiveness. George Bush's Confession
Saying, bring it on; kind of tough talk, you know, that sent the wrong signal to people. I learned some lessons about expressing myself maybe in a little more sophisticated manner, you know. Wanted, dead or alive; that kind of talk. I think in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted. And so I learned from that.
I'll give this two stars. It really deserves one star because it doesn't express a sense of failure and, worse, it shifts the blame to "certain parts of the world."
However, I know what a huge step this is for Bush to even admit that something was wrong. So I'll give him a bonus star for trying.
How would you rate the two against each other for sincerity?
Speaking Truth To Power
"Speak Truth to Power" is a a Quaker term
coming out of the cold war. Later is was a book by Anita Hill
. I only noticed it recently as it was popping up in progressive circles.
I believe that Anita Hill has the right to use this phrase as well as Joe Wilson
, Richard Clarke,
and Coleen Rowley
But isn't it the height of cynicism or stupidity to use this term for Mike Hayden who was just confirmed to head the CIA
At the hearings,
Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said on the Senate floor on Thursday night that General Hayden had demonstrated "independence and objectivity and a willingness to speak truth to power."
Hmmm. Let me try to recreate Hayden's "speaking truth to power"
John Negroponte, "Hey Mike. The president wants us to bug phones without warrants. Get on that."
Hayden, "Yes sir."
Don't let the right co-opt a very useful term describing a very patriotic duty.
PS: Bravo to Arlen Specter for his lone Republican no vote. Is he the last old-school, principled conservative in DC?
Oddly familiar stories - what's the connection?
Do you think these two similar stories happened for similar reasons?Kim Jong-Il shot 38 under par his 1st time out
Pyongyang media say North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il enjoys golf, having shot multiple holes-in-one during his first try at the game. He reportedly aced five holes and finished 38 under par on the golf course. Pat Robertson says he leg-pressed 2,000 pounds
Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson says he has leg-pressed 2,000 pounds, but some say he'd be in a pretty tough spot if he tried.
Top Ten Bush Mistakes, honestly confessed
Everyone knows that Abu Gharib was a mistake as Bush finally admitted
It's also a convenient mistake to admit, Supposedly it was done by a few bad apples rather than a predictable result of morally bankrupt Bush policies.
Here's what a honest George Bush would have confessed:
"I got so freaked out by 911 that I abandoned our traditional American values."
Torture, disappearing people; presumption of guilt; warrantless wiretapping are un-American but he did them anyway because he thought the old rules no longer applied in a post-911 world. This was a colossal screw-up.
Here's my top-ten war-related mistakes a truthful Bush would own up to:
1) "I didn't read the Presidential Daily Briefing about bin Laden's plans to attack America. I wasn't alert because I brushed off Clinton's warnings, I'm sorry. I was totally focussed on tax cuts for my donors."
2) "I should not have politicized 911 and the war on terror. I should have fired Karl Rove for being evil when he gleefully told me 911 was our ticket to sweep the 2002 and 2004 elections."
3) "My mother-of-all mistakes was to invade Iraq. I apologize to all Americans and Iraqis for this crushing, disastrous decision."
4) "It was a huge mistake to give short-shrift to Afghanistan. I was so hell-bent on getting in Iraq that I didn't finish the job. Consequently, al Qaeda is now a much more dangerous decentralized organization."
5) "I shouldn't have cherry-picked the pre-war intelligence. It was terrible of me to spin something so grave as war."
6) "I shouldn't have rushed off to war with contrived urgency. I should have made careful war plans with realistic troop and budget estimates. I should have followed the Pentagon's post-invasion plans.
7) "It was a scandalous mistake to privatize the war. It made the contractors very rich but also made Iraqis highly cynical about our intentions. And it massively ripped-off American taxpayers."
8) "Ideology and politics kept me from dealing with the changing realities in Iraq. I never wanted to admit something until it became embarrassing to deny it. Even then, I kept spinning the news."
9) "I should have welcomed independent investigations into 911, Afghanistan, Iraq and the war on terror. My lack of transparency has made the public lose faith in me and the war."
10) "It was a huge mistake to alienate the Arab and Muslim world rather than proactively bringing them into the solution. Oh, and I apologize to Micheal Moore and the French."
Ken Lay's Sinner's prayer.
At bible school I was taught to listen carefully to confessions. During the sinners prayer you listen for "I sinned" and watched out for "mistakes happened" or "I'm being persecuted."
There can be all kinds of stuff in a sinner's prayer but it must include that tiny little unqualified admission of sin.
The guilty judgement of Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling
is good news but, as a Christian, it's hollow. Punishment can bring partial justice but that's not what warms my Jesus-loving soul. It's repentance and redemption that I want.
Instead, in this case we witness bitter men claiming their innocence in the face of glaring guilt.
In this huge den of vipers* that the neo-cons have created, I see amongst nothing that would identify as a valid sinners prayer. Not even among the most Christian of them, like Tom DeLay or Ralph Reed.
They are all Job! Innocent men suffering because of their righteousness. This little vignette from Ken Lay's church experience is telling:
The Sunday morning when the Rev. David Casto gave his sermon from the book of Job, he considered himself a living example of the story. That October 2003 day he told his Bethel Baptist Church congregation that he had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, proof, he said, that even the righteous suffer.Missourian News
After the service, Ken Lay, who had been sitting toward the back of the sanctuary, admitted to Casto that he too felt a bit like a modern-day Job.
"He drew that parallel himself," Casto said. "He told me he that he had learned a lot from the book of Job."
Of all the characters and images in the bible, it is Job
that Ken Lay relates to?
This is the one I suggest Ken Lay focus on:
Once there were two men who went up to the Temple to pray: one was a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood apart by himself and prayed, 'I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.'
But the tax collector stood at a distance and would not even raise his face to heaven, but beat on his breast and said, 'God, have pity on me, a sinner!'
I tell you," said Jesus, "the tax collector, and not the Pharisee, was in the right with God when he went home. For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great. (from Luke Chapter 18)
The conservatives in government are literally the tax collectors (and spenders!
) of our day but figuratively they are today's Pharisees. It's discouraging that not a single one of them resembles the tax collector in Jesus' parable.
But as a liberal and as a Christian, I cling to hope.
I see a little spark of hope in Jack Abramoff as illustrated in this quote from Washington's Invisible Man by David Margolick (Vanity Fair, April 2006). You have to search for it:
"I could say to God, 'How dare you do this?'" [Abramoff] says, "'I became religious, against every influence in my environment, I fought to be kosher; there were times I didn't eat. There were times I walked to synagogue in bloody feet.' I could say that very easily, but I don't say it for a second. Why? Because I am a bearer of many transgressions, From stuff that is known to all the stuff known to me."
Buried in the egotism, vague blackmail and weird bloody feet is "I am the bearer of many transgressions."
I always look for this from the guilty -- some teeny spark of personal responsibility and repentance.
The start of redemption is rarely a light bulb suddenly turning on but is usually a spark put to tinder. We'll need to check back in with Abramoff in five or ten years to see if the fire took.
As for most of these guys, I'm not seeing even a spark.* My apologies to vipers
Horse vs Human
I think most Americans would say they value human life more than animal life.
If that's true, then what the hack happened last weekend?
There were two major stories happened on May 20/21.
1) Barbaro seriously injured in Preakness
2) At least 16 civilians killed in bombing of Afghan Village
But the story of a horse with a broken leg buried
the story of a slaughtered village.
What's going on here? Why the compassion for the horse but indifference for Afghan villagers?
Many foreigners and, especially, Muslims conclude that Americans are a bunch of callous SOB's who really don't care about anyone but themselves.
No one can argue the premise of their conclusion: on that day, America cared more about the broken leg of a horse than the shattered lives of a whole Iraqi village.
Does this prove we're callous SOBs?
Here's my theory which is more nuisanced than the SOB theory but it still doesn't make us look very good:
1) The horse was on TV; the villagers weren't
2) We knew the name of the horse but not the villagers
3) The villagers could be terrorists, who knows? it's all so confusing. The horse was clearly innocent.
4) The horse was American; the villagers are not.
5) We have a cultural fondness for horses but not for Afghan villagers
6) We're all kind of tired of war news.
If you sum up my five points are we still callous SOBs? I have to wonder.
Many foreigners have no doubt.
Offending Christians is for Wimps.
It bothers me when people use my religious symbols the way Madonna is doing in her current show
... but only a little.
Like nearly all western Christians, once we got over PissChrist
it now takes a whole lot to ruffle our feathers.
These days, offending Christians is for wimps. If Madonna had any guts, she would swap out that cross for a half crescent!
Catholic Sinners: Rice vs Kerry
Kerry on AbortionThe Catholic church is against abortion.
One of the more painful moments of the 2000 election was when some conservative Catholics wanted to excommunicate John Kerry for being pro-choice.
If you think like a conservative, this is understandable. The Church is anti-abortion and Kerry is not actively enforcing this value on the whole country.
If you think like a liberal, this is absurd.
To my knowledge, Kerry (or his wife, obviously) has never had an abortion nor does he actively promote abortion for others. His "abortion sins" are at best passive because he doesn't stop others from following their own conscience on the issue.Rice on the Iraq War.The Catholic church is against the war in Iraq.
John Paul II stated before the 2003 war that this war would be a defeat for humanity which could not be morally or legally justified.Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity
In the weeks and months before the U.S. attacked Iraq, not only the Holy Father, but also one Cardinal and Archbishop after another at the Vatican spoke out against a "preemptive" or "preventive" strike. They declared that the just war theory could not justify such a war.
The new pope is has maintained this condemnation of the war.New Pope Benedict XVI a Strong Critic of War
If you think like a liberal, Rice's war sins are pretty bad.
She didn't just passively let the war happen... she actively
facilitated it. She did this in bold defiance of direct appeals from the pope himself. And she forced others into this sin.
So, why is Boston College giving an honorary degree to someone who snubbed their nose at the pope?
Does this make sense to either liberal thinkers or conservative thinkers?
T Bone Burnett - Twenty Twenty and True False Identity
I am so excited about the release of two new T-Bone Burnett albums... we fans have had to wait fourteen years for this!
The first is a retrospective Twenty Twenty
The other album is The True False Identity
is a collection of new work.
Please visit Liberal Grace Listening Lounge
to read a full review.
Remember, when you click throught to Amazon.com
and buy, it doesn't cost you any extra and it supports Liberal Grace.
I'm Not That Afraid
I was reading an exerpt from How Would A Patriot Act?
about how little fuss has been made over the betrayal of our traditional American values.
In one sense, it is difficult to understand how the Bush administration has been able to embrace such radical theories of executive power, and to engage in such recognizably un-American conduct -- first in the shadows and now quite openly -- without prompting a far more intense backlash from the country than we have seen
That is because the Bush administration has in its arsenal one very potent weapon -- and one weapon only -- which it has repeatedly used: fear. Ever since September 11, 2001, Americans have been bombarded with warnings, with color-coded "alerts," with talk of mushroom clouds and nefarious plots to blow up bridges and tall buildings, with villains assigned cartoon names such as "dirty bomber," "Dr. Germ," and so on
I guess I'm just not that afraid. It's not because I've lived a sheltered life. I fully understand that there are evil people who want to kill me or my family just to make a political point. I've personally had a few close calls with those guys!
But I firmly believe that fear is not a Christian attribute and fear-mongering is certainly not Christian.
Isaiah 43:1 NIV
This is what the LORD says, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
I'm not naive. Fear is human. I feel fear! Those of us who trust in the Lord should not be susceptible to the fear mongering of the Bush administration.
Click through, buy from Amazon and support LiberalGrace.comHow Would A Patriot Act?
Jesus with a Leafblower.
What's the difference between Jesus and Jésus? Not much, if you're a Christian.
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' (NIV)
As an American, I am not against border control or citizenship.
As a Christian, I insist that any immigration reform treat illegal immigrants with kindness and compassion.
I went in search of a typical blog on this and one of the more vitriolic seems to be a libertarian or -- yikes! -- a liberal.Radar Contact
Compare this quote below with the quote from Matthew 24, above:
I also happen to believe we CAN find the illegals in our midst and either deport or imprison them. Will it cost money? Yes. ...
Those who have hired them should be fined and/or imprisoned also. Yes, folks, it's a felony.
I know that not only SOUNDS harsh - it IS harsh. But if we follow Bush and his new Democrat friends on the amnesty issue, and the "guest worker" crap, where will it end? Do we have the resources to accept the unemployed and the under-employed from not only Mexico, but from all those other third-world nations around the globe? Are YOU willing to adopt a family from Mexico or any other "developing" nation, and personally pay for their shelter, food, clothing, health care, etc., etc.?
OK, fine. Let's stop illegal immigration. But as we do so, let's remember that Jesus will someday say to us: "I was a stranger and you did not invite me in."