Pleasantly surprised by how well this came together and greatly encouraged by the response it received. Filmed at the Liberate Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL on 2/22:
Sometimes, but maybe not as well as we’d like to think. I work in a downtown pedestrian area, and on any given walk to a coffeeshop or lunch spot, if the weather’s nice there will be environmentalists, Global Medical Brigades reps, pro-Tibetans, and other generally worthy and important causes. ‘Did you know…”. I can say, personally, that I do know, most of the time, what’s going on – I just tend not to act on it. I know the environment’s deteriorating but am often too lazy to recycle, etc. The assumption behind raising awareness is that if more people know…
A few thoughts on some recent Internet Prodigal Son banter, from David Zahl and Will McDavid:
As much as I admire The NY Times, it’s not where I go to read about grace. You? And yet, David Brooks was back at it again this week, talking about the parable of the prodigal son(s) and endorsing grace as an essential factor in crafting social policy for those who’ve squandered their inheritance/potential/goodwill. Check it out:
We live in a divided society in which many of us in the middle- and upper-middle classes are like the older brother and many of the people who drop…
Perhaps this would fit under PZ’s “Religions that Aren’t Called Religions,” as an Ideology. Or perhaps this is simply its own religion, the religion of Health, the religions of Fitness and Nutrition, of Kale Chips. But it could be easily replaced with almost anything–Sound Investments, Good Hair, Child-Rearing–anything that promises we will never die, and thus leaves us missing out on what’s enjoyable about actually, really living. This comes from Capon’s amazing Health, Money and Love (and Why We Don’t Enjoy Them)
“Isn’t it true that the eating habits of most Americans are killing them?” My answer is no. People die…
At the church I attend, it is not uncommon to hear the ministers–either from the pulpit or in counsel–talk about how they don’t believe in giving advice. I remember feeling confused the first time I heard that. Isn’t that part of the pastoral ticket, to point your flock to the promised land? To sit amongst suffering people and provide words of wisdom to help them move on? To indicate the blind spots along the “road of life”? To say you’re against giving advice–even unsolicited advice–is like saying you don’t know how to do your job, or that you don’t care.
This comes from Emily Stubbs:
Spike Jonze’s newest film, Her, is beautiful, provocative, and, above all, relevant. Man (Theodore Twombley, played by Joaquin Phoenix) falls for highly evolved, Siri-like Operating System next door (Samantha, voice played by none other than Scarlett Johansson). Given its subject matter, the film speaks to many of the fantasies that we place in technology. In this modern era known as the digital age, not only is technology going to cure cancer but also my loneliness. Our desire for deep emotional connection—the new driving force behind technology—culminates in the creation of the OS that, at least for…
This comes from Stephanie Phillips:
Weekday, early morning. I hoist my two-year-old son into his booster seat, scatter some Cheerios over his tray, flip on the Today show. As I wait for the coffee to brew, I notice that the lead news story concerns Justin Bieber’s latest run-in with the law. The camera pans across a sea of teenage girls holding up signs of support as Justin is escorted out of prison.
I think, This is the top story? And where are their parents? I glance over at my son, who stuffs cereal into his face as he stares at the screen….
Things to love about February: 1) it is short and 2) the following month holds the dawn of spring.
But there’s more, even in the midst of these ongoing frigid temps. There is still the hope of a huge, pulverizing snow, which forces the suspension of all activity. (I realize this is not on the positive side of the ledger for some, but the inner child still pleads for a snow day!) And then there is Valentine’s Day. Again, maybe not everyone’s favorite day. And then there are the fires in the fireplace. Who doesn’t love fires?
What I really love about February, however, is the way its spare beauty points to God. Spring is bursting, summer is lush, autumn is burnished. Their beauties announce themselves, obviously. February’s beauty is a shy beauty – a demure month. What other time do you notice the skeletal branches against the flat sky? What other time does the cardinal pop so brilliantly against the snowy hedge? What other time do you so carefully observe the slowly lengthening days?
When eyes are not overwhelmed with stimuli, they sometimes see deeply through the spare offerings. Is there a deeper beauty, a beauty below (or above, or within, or around) the beauty? St. Augustine thought so. In his famous passage, “What do I love when I love my God”, he says,
“It is not physical beauty nor temporal glory nor the brightness of light dear to earthly eyes, nor the sweet melodies of all kinds of songs, or the gentle odor of flowers, and ointments and perfumes, nor manna or honey, nor limbs welcoming the embraces of the flesh; it is not these I love when I love my God. Yet there is a light I love, and a food, and a kind of embrace when I love my God – a light, voice, odor, food, embrace of my innerness, where my soul is floodlit by light which space cannot contain, where there is sound that time cannot seize, where there is a perfume which no breeze disperses, where there is a taste for food no amount of eating can lessen, and where there is a bond of union that no satiety can part. That is what I love when I love my God.”
File this one under required reading. David Brooks’ column in The NY Times this week “Alone, Yet Not Alone” mines a very rich vein: the discrepancy between how religious faith is presented and how it is experienced in America (and the world) today, particularly in terms of the role doubt plays. The man appears to be on something of a hot streak, quoting Augustine and Heschel in equal measure, and dropping what could be a career-making (hopefully not -wrecking) endorsement of singer-songwriter Audrey Assad. The intro goes like this:
When secular or mostly secular people are asked by researchers to give…
Another humdinger from Ginger M:
On New Year’s Eve night, my husband and I hosted two other couples for dinner. In my husband’s family, it has been a New Year’s Eve tradition for all dinner guests to come with a question to ask to the table, preferably one pertaining to the previous year. “What was your most awkward verbal exchange of the past year?” proved to be quite humorous, but the question that ended our night was “What will you most miss about 2013?”. Two guests remarked, with nervous laughter, that they were going to miss the substances that they were…
A hilarious and seriously relevant bit from comedian Mike Birbiglia about the fragility of what it means to be (or think of yourself) as a “decent person” and the often comic discrepancy between motivation and action. Taken from the recent goldmine of an episode of This American Life about “Good Guys”, ht CW: