Thursday, August 5

Abrahamic Traditions

Scrooge, “A Christmas Carol”, And … Sorta-Kinda … Keeping Christ Out Of Christmas

Scrooge, “A Christmas Carol”, And … Sorta-Kinda … Keeping Christ Out Of Christmas

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, Advent, Anticipation, awareness, Challenge, Change, Christ Child, Christianity, Christmas, Church, community, Compassion, Creator, critical judgment, culture, December, Discernment, forgiveness, God, Gospel of Luke, Holy Mystery, Human Condition, Ideology, Imagination, Jesus, Jung, Myth, Numinous, Pain and Suffering, Poverty, relationships, Religion, Scripture, Secularity, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized, Waiting, Wholeness
I suppose there are still people around here and there who complain about the creeping secularism of the Holidays and who in consequence admonish others to “keep Christ in Christmas”.  I well remember such exhortations from the time of my childhood, growing up in Wichita, KS. Such hortatory rituals were often accompanied by carols, religious services, and – I would argue, curiously enough – by a reading of Charles Dickens’ perennial A Christmas Carol. I say “curiously enough” because I have just finished reading Carol for the few-hundredth time and for the first time, I noticed the absence of Christ in Carol, except in a very "thin", allusive sense. Carol without Christ, or with Christ in the background of the background, is a much more universal, even “archetypal”, story of the awa...

Precedent, Probity, And Impeachment

abolition, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, betrayal, Change, citizenship, civics, Civil War, conflict, constitution, Criminal Procedure, critical judgment, Discernment, Executive Branch, faithfulness, First Amendment, history, Ideology, Impeachment, Justice Samuel Chase, law, Marbury v. Madison, Politics, Presidency, race, racism, Secularity, Separation of Powers, slavery, Stuart v. Laird, Supreme Court, Trump, Uncategorized
The US Constitution explicitly outlines the causes and procedures for impeachment of the President and other ministers of the US government, e.g., Supreme Court Justices.  These are the so-called “impeachment clauses”. (Other parts of the Constitution deal with impeachment, but this is the most relevant for present purposes). Prof. Alan Dershowitz, despite being unfairly perceived as being contaminated through association with Fox News, has performed a valuable service, especially in books like Trumped Up:  How the Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy, by urgently advising against the weaponization of political differences, and even free speech, as tools to further purely political ends. As anyone knows who has followed my “Skeptic’s Collection” columns over th...

Faith, Sight, And Plato’s Cave

"Life" Issues, Abrahamic Traditions, awareness, bible, Buddhism, Christianity, conflict, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, epistemology, Ethics, faith, God, monotheism, Plato, postmodernism, Religion, Secularity, Trump
Like any other ideology-based group or community, Christian communities – churches and even entire denominations – have their own hortatory idioms, their own shibboleths, often drawn from the biblical text itself. One of the biggies for me, growing up as a fundamentalist Baptist, was “Saved by grace through faith,” right out of Ephesians 2:8-9. As a Catholic, I remember being admonished to “Follow your [i.e., my] vocation [or sometimes ‘calling’]”.  As a non-fundamentalist but still conservative evangelical Christian, I well remember assurances that “God has a wonderful plan for your [my] life” (usually those exact words). Now, just so there is no misunderstanding, most of the time, these exhortations are just harmless rhetoric. (Usually … there are exceptions, e.g., the “Follow ...