A LOVE SUPREME

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Era



62 comments:

Jason Hesiak said...

http://jasonhesiak.blogspot.com/2008/11/obama-is-that-guy.html

tamie said...

I really do think it's a new era. It's still unbelievable to me. Last night I just kept saying that I couldn't believe it. Good things can still happen. I'm amazed and thrilled.

Jonathan Erdman said...

For me, the idea of this being a new era goes beyond mere policy....which is why I voted Obama even though my ideology aligned more closely with McCain. What impressed me about Obama is a tone (and what I perceived as a certain wisdom) that seems to give a pride of place to openness and dialog, rather than fighting out differences with rhetoric and media spin.

Will it pan out this way??? We shall see. George W. also said he was going to come to Washington to bring people together...didn't quite happen that way. I'm tentatively optimistic about Obama, b/c he seems a bit more widely informed and seems to genuinely appreciate diversity than W.

The acceptance speech last night was impressive, with the focus being on being President of all and listening to all perspectives. Obama spoke of "needing" to hear the voices of those who opposed him. If he follows up on this, then I can't help but think he will do some very historically significant things, not only in our nation, but in the world.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Yea, Jason, I agree. One of my first concerns is that Obama is not assassinated. It's a morbid thought on a day that probably should be optimistic, but it's also a very real concern.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

I hope that those of you who voted for Obama are right about a good era, but in the same respect, I couldn't live with the idea personally of voting for a man who stands for some of the things he does.  Knowing that he is pro-choice was a big one for me.  I cannot in good conscience know that and vote for the man.  But that is just where I stand. In something like this, you have to stand somewhere. I am not completely republican, but I do stand on that side 90% of the time.
Jason,
I read your entry and replied with this in your blog as well:
Funny you look at it this way...I see Obama as an "anti-Christ", not Christ-like, and yet it seems that you compare him/his family with the trials of Jesus...
Here in lies the problem....Jesus was beaten, spat upon and hung on a tree, because He was Christ, the perfect Messiah, and people did not want to believe that. So, in their anger and rebellion, they crucified him. Obama is hardly perfect, that's a given. But I think it sad if all of you view him as a "messiah of the ages" if you will. Christ was persecuted because He was the answer for a new and good era. But I am not sure Obama means good.
I do not wish the man assassinated, but I agree that it is a concern for diffeent reasons. Chaos and pandimonium!
I hope I am wrong....I hope Obama/Biden turns out to be a positive change, not catastrophic one.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Eve,

I think that there is certainly an important point about judging a President by his actions....which is why Obama and our country could potentially suffer from putting too much stock in Obama and/or government to solve our problems. I hope that Obama sticks to his vision for inspiring people to do what is right, not merely relying on legislation. For example, creditors are to blame for over-extending credit to those who couldn't afford it; but equally responsible would be those who signed on to loans they knew they either could not afford or might not be able to pay.

I share a sense of optimism today, that's for sure. But I curtail it a bit, knowing that the road could get a bit rocky for us in the U.S. (we'll have to wait and see), and that as of yet, Obama hasn't done anything one way or the other, so, again, we'll have to wait and see. But I think this could be an amazing time of growth for individuals and also for our nation, to re-affirm our values and commitments to justice, personal responsibility, and compassion for our neighbors, both here at home and around the globe.

daniel hutchinson said...

Obama is a Christian. Saying he is the anti-Christ is beyond ridiculous, it's insane in my view. That's why long ago on this blog I said the problem with this US election is the complication of false interpretations of the book of Revelations that have permeated American culture as in the Left Behind books...

...which I haven't read, but I've read the Bible and I've read Revelations and Obama is not the anti-Christ people! He is a level-headed, wise and optimistic leader with all the qualities that I look up to in a person. For sure, he is still a human but he is an admirable person, and has done well to win this election. Give him some credit! I'm fully with Jon where he talks about Obama being a listener, a person who can forgive, a humble person.

God will guide him. God is in control of the destiny of the USA and of us all, of this I have no doubt. The problems are so big, and we really truly need God's help, and I'm hopeful that God is working towards a goal here with this election.

There is no doubt in my mind that America has been blessed by God to have Obama as the next president - the rest of the world envies you, believe me! Your democracy has proved its strength, and by voting for change you as an American people have proved your bravery and true qualities.

Americans will rally behind Obama because that is one of the features of America as a nation, you are law-abiding and law-respecting people. Claim it! Live it! Be it! You deserve it!

McCain and Bush have even responded positively to the result and things haven't looked this bright in a long time.

How wonderful to have a decision inspired by hope rather than motivated by fear? Congratulations America on your choice and may God be with you always.

jhesiak said...

amanda -

first of all - because this is the thing you said that i think asks for the most obvious and possibly-aggred-upon response - you really don't think obama MEANS well!? you think he MEANS to do evil or bad or whathaveyou!? i wouldn't even say that about...terrell owens, lol...and i'm a redskin fan! pacman, on the other hand, might be a different story. but anyway i think it would be hard to hold to the idea that obama "means harm." maybe you percieve what he does mean as harm, but that's quite different. and i would be ok with that, acutally.

secondly, concerning my associating the trials of the black man with those of jesus. first of all, its hardly a new idea. its not just obama. its all who suffer, myself included. i certainly didn't mean to suggest that anyone who suffers, other than christ, was perfect, and therefore is the savior in any way. i meant it as a way to sympathetically infuse the events of the world with meaning through the narrative of the gospel event and story. "whatever you do to the least of these..." i do this with my own life regularly, especially with my own sufferings. that's why i was able to get choked up seeing the black man so moved that night. jesus identified with us. through that i am able to identify with jesus. through that whole dynamic of relationship i can identify with the black man's sufferings, especially the black man who associates his own sufferings with those of jesus.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

Daniel:
How do you know hat Obama is a Christian? I mean, did you get a quick peak at who is on the Book of Books up there or what? I can tell you I am buddist, and by golly expect you to believe it...I could even act buddist for the rest of my life, just fool you...and never be buddist for real to save my life. All I am trying to say, I have not seen any evidence of a democratic man who thinks it's ok for woman to have abortions and promoting himself like someone far superior, who uses the "color" of his skin to gain, and has money from only God knows where, proving to me that he is a Christian. He is fighting against the morals that this country was built on. He's been doing it from day one. I didn't say he was the Anti-christ, I said he is like one for me at this point. I bring up the abortion issue, because it hits very close to home for me and my family. My children would have another sibling if it weren't for an x-wife's decision to live her life without kids and persue a career instead. She didn't even consider my now-husband's feeling and did it without his consent. To me that is not a right, that is murder in the first degree. And Obama supports it. Among sooooo much other stuff, that abortion is actually only the icing on the cake.
Jason:
I don't think that at this point, he MEANS harm. I just think that he is going to be harmful. I am one of those who believe that George W. was handed a pile of crap when he stepped into office, because the last Democrat we voted in, Bill Clinton, screwed more things than we care to know up! He was to busy trying to be the Cool one and he thought he was all that. Well, he wasn't, and he caused a lot of harm. George W. has recieved no credit for trying to clean things up. And now we have Barack Hussein Obama as our president. Do we really know who he is? Where he really came from? What he really believes?
We only know what he wants us to know. We know more about McCain and Palin's personal life than we will ever know of Obama's, and frankly, I am very unsettled at that thought. But, that is only my view and where I stand. Like I said, you have to stand somewhere. And again, I will say it...I hope I am wrong, dead wrong abut Obama being harmful to our nation.

daniel hutchinson said...

Eve......interrupted:

I'm not talking about politics. If someone says they are a Christian, that's enough for me. Obviously not everyone who says they are a Christian is being sincere... but most are. We know that is ultimately not enough maybe, what counts in the end is whether Jesus knows us. But I won't go into that. That's not for me to judge.

So no, I don't think Obama is lying about his Christianity as you imply, just because his views don't square exactly with my own views.

Abortion is a serious and important issue, and I don't hear Obama saying he personally supports abortion, but that he supports the choice. His focus is elsewhere. There is a difference.

I don't support the idea that people should be offered the choice to kill their children, I don't think people have the right to make that choice. But supporting the right to have abortions, conducting abortions, having an abortion is not an unforgiveable sin.

It's like the issue of contraception, which has become acceptable for many Christians, but others see as morally wrong to prevent conception (and some forms of contraception actually go a step closer to abortion).

Do you believe in contraception? I don't. If I don't believe in contraception and you do, does that make me a better Christian than you? I'm just asking in the interests of the debate on Obama, whom you seem so unjustifiably suspicious of.

People aren't being controlled by fear in electing Obama and to me that's what's most important. Although, you seem to be fearful of him being president because you didn't vote for him. That's understandeable, but at some point you need to be reasonable. Obama is a respectable human being who has shown a capacity to listen, humble himself, and work together with others and that is without any doubt positive qualities in a leader.

I'm concerned about your views because they seem so ignorant, and they fuel the hate that could possibly lead to someone wanting to assassinate Obama, as Jason mentioned.

Jason Hesiak said...

I bring up the abortion issue, because it hits very close to home for me and my family. My children would have another sibling if it weren't for an x-wife's decision to live her life without kids and persue a career instead. She didn't even consider my now-husband's feeling and did it without his consent. To me that is not a right, that is murder in the first degree. And Obama supports it. Among sooooo much other stuff, that abortion is actually only the icing on the cake.

Thank you for sharing, Amanda. Under such circumstances, your concerns over abortion are obviously understandable. In fact I sort of got chill bumps writing that just now, knowing that there would be another littlun running around in your house, "if only." What I would like to see, however, and take this as a kind of humble request (for resons I will explain in a moment), is for you to incarnationally step inside of ANOTHER's home, so that their situation can "hit home" for you. I got chill bumps reading that little bit of your story, and I got choked up watching stories of edified blacks who were themselves so edified to see something that they not only didn't imagine in their lifetime but didn't even think to think would maybe be possible. Part of why it was so powerful for me is because of the images surrounding the civil rights movement that are so embedded into our PUBLIC consciousness - its not just my private story!

To the point, what I'm asking is that you see how the suffering black population has been so edified by this event, which in and of itself is amazing. So far you seem unable to see that, apparently because of your own (powerful and very near and dear) issues. If you were to tell me that you cried tears of joy when abortion was made illegal, with your personal story to boot, then if others with a different agenda were unable to take joy in your joy, then, well, that would just suck.

Anyway - the reason I sort of ask as a humble request for you to see into the home of another's circumstances is simply because I know how difficult it is to see beyond our own...stuff. Especially when it involves letting go of what we percieve as a threat to what we hope to see accomplished, or to what we hope to see happen. As for myself, I am thinking of something that has nothing to do with politics when I think of how hard it is to let go of something, but I'll just say that I can understand what its like to...do something along those lines. Although what I'm thinking of in my own situation and your abortion thing are in fact quite different, both involve the experience of seeing past our own vision.

Jason Hesiak said...

oh and one more thing - if that abortion doesn't eat at that ex-wife, it probably will one day, probably when she is lonely and accomplished (but maybe in some other circumstance). i met someone recently who was experiencing a similar grief over two past abortions, and the only option was compassion, even though he had been a part of those decisions at that time.

daniel hutchinson said...

Well said Jason.

Abortion is a painful and horrible thing. It is terrible to attach random consequences of death to unborn human life. Only changed values will change the scourge, it's not about legislation.

Today I saw an ad for someone offering confidential counselling to pregnant moms considering abortion, to find homes for the kids outside a church building. Why is there not more of this from Christians? Politicians will not solve our problems. Government will not solve our problems. It is up to us all to do something.

Again, I'd rather go with the positive campaign than the one that says "vote for us to fight abortions"... because those that garner votes that way don't seem inclined to end it (legislatively) either.

It's about injecting that belief that ordinary people can make a difference. I wouldn't be surprised to see the actual abortion rate drop during Obama's term. He is a powerful leader that inspires people.

Eve......interrupted, what if abortions drop during Obama's term relative to Bush because of a renewal of hope and positivity and community? Would you be more friendly towards Obama?

daniel hutchinson said...

Sorry, that should read "ad outside a church building.... to find homes for the kids",

not "...homes for the kids outside a church building".

Although that would also be cool.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

As always, I respect your views, both Daniel, Jason, and of course Jonnie boy here, very much so. I know I sound so judgemental. I am sorry. You should know that I am very trusting, very respecting, and sincerely not trying to judge. I have always respected African American history, and I enjoy learning about the obstacles and triumphs that everyone, black and white, have overcome in our history. But I also love historical stuff, too. I am truly an old soul.

I am also very sympathetic to people and their unique situations. Whether beaten, abused, poverty stricken, lonely, abandoned, paralized, handicapped, or whatever else, I am the first to listen, to love, and to learn. I am very compassionate, not to be pious, but that is why my husband tells me he fell in love with me. I am the first one to walk across a room and a person feel welcome, I am everyones friend. I don't judge a book by it's cover. And for a while I did ride the fence re:Obama vs. McCain. But in the end, I had to make a decision based on my faith convictions, and better judgement. That is why I say I hope my better judgement was cloudy and Obama is the answer to a new and redeeming era, not a catastrophic one.

History makes us what we are today, all of us. Without it, we would have no feeling, no conviction, and no reason to care about who takes office. I want nothing more than this to be an era of faith. I heard someone say once that faith is trust and hope combined. I am trusting Obama, and hoping for the best. I took my McCain/Palin sign down last night and surrendered to the facts. Obama is president elect, done deal. I still walk with the same spring in my step as I did the day before.

I was also reminded of this quote today: "Man only sees one spot on the leopard when he looks through a bamboo tube."

Thank you for all the input, gentlemen. Your insight is intriguing and admired.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

Honestly, Daniel, I would love to meet and pick the brain of Obama any day, on any subject, and find a reason why I should whole-heartedly put all my faith in him...I want a reason!! And given that chance, I know I would find one, even putting the abortion issue aside.

ktismatics said...

Here's an article from Time magazine describing recent historical trends in U.S. abortion rates. Some highlights: The number of abortions has declined dramatically over the past 20 years, with the decline occurring mostly among teenagers. Still, it's estimated that 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Hispanic women are 3 times as likely as whites to have an abortion; black women, 5 times as likely. The majority of women who undergo an abortion have already given birth to at least one child.

Regarding public opinion, there was a proposed amendment to the Colorado constitution on the ballot which would define human life as beginning at conception. This amendment lost 73% to 27%.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

To me that means 73% don't want to admit that life exists at the time of conception...the beginning of life created by God. (I hope that I understood what you wrote to mean that 73% said that it wasn't truth.) Bottom line on this thought: People don't wan't to hear the truth. We can't live the way we want to deep down, based on truth. So why not make truth irrelevant...let's just vote against it and throw it out the window?

Ksmatics...this is not meant to be a dig at you personally, it's not directed at you. I am only stating what I think about the article you presented to our attention.

ktismatics said...

I'm saying you've got a long way to go to persuade people in Colorado that they're terribly wrong and that they're really justifying murder. I think CO voters reflect the general trend nationwide, though I don't have the data in hand. And you can dig at me personally if you like, since I voted against this amendment.

"People don't want to hear the truth."

Okay, here's a truth for you: by nearly a 3 to 1 margin, voters in Colorado DO NOT BELIEVE that human life begins at conception.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Life beginning at conception....hhhhmmmm....even though I tend to be on the pro-life side of the argument, I think it really is a tough sell to say that life begins at conception. I mean, maybe it does, but how could one demonstrate this?

ktismatics said...

What's the Biblical case for life at conception? I remember John the Baptist leaped in his mother's womb when she met up with pregnant Mary -- is this like a proof text for pro-life evangelicals? Or is there some theory that eternal human souls are transmitted via fertilization? Does the soul assemble itself from a little bit of sperm and a little bit of egg? This seems medieval rather than Biblical.

Jason Hesiak said...

thank you amanda. your words and your take have been noted and appreciated.

and...

What's the Biblical case for life at conception?

is there even a biblical notion of conception in the first place?

ktismatics said...

In an earlier comment I cited evidence that black and Hispanic women are much more likely to have abortions than are white women. Wouldn't religiously motivated pro-lifers be likely to conclude that, as a group, minorities in America are less Christian than whites, or that their Christianity is a false front intended to deceive? That's what I understood Eve to be saying about Barack Hussein Obama's self-proclaimed Christianity.

It seems, by the way, that Islam's position on abortion is similar to that of Christianity: the more fundamentalist the beliefs the more restrictive the prohibition against abortion, even in the earliest stages, and also against birth control. The idea of a woman having the right to decide about her own body seems pretty alien to fundamentalist Islam cultures, at least based on what we can see from places like Saudi Arabia and the Taliban's rule in Pakistan.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Good question about the biblical view. My perception is that since abortion is a Modern scientific phenomenon, one should proceed with caution in making the Bible comment on something that did not exist.

On the whole, I find many of the passages that support the pro-life position to be rather unconvincing. However, there are definite indications that something very special and beautiful happens in the womb.

God "forms in the womb (e.g., Isaiah 44:2) and of course in Psalm 139 David describes an intimate process of care by God for him, while he was still in the womb:

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

I don't know how scientifically descriptive Psalm 139 is intended to be. I think the best interpretation of the passage is simply to suggest that something special, unique, and wonderful is at work in the womb. The mistake that I think some pro-lifers make is to stretch get into this command-mode, where they are diligently searching the Bible for any commands and "Thus sayeth the Lord" passages that can advance the pro-life agenda.

I think that one of the common points that people of goodwill on both sides can agree to is that it is important to retain the biblical sense that something special and unique is at work in the womb of a mother.

And yes, I think it is also a bit medieval to suggest that a bit of sperm and egg can form a soul....but, hey, we have some insightful commentors here at Theos Project (like our good friend Jason Hesiak) who appreciate pre-modern perspectives.....so, perhaps others can weigh in a bit more this issue.

hoosier reborn said...

John-I think it was you that put Obama over the top in Indiana to put it in the blue column. Congrats!

A new era indeed-I liked what the pastor at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta said, "this represents faith over fear".

Kurt

Eve.........Interrupted said...

I am in awe that anyone would question that conception doesn't necessarily mean a human life...let me ask....HOW the hell else does it happen unless you are Christ????? Yes, we have envitro and pitre dishes, and such, but it takes a sperm and an egg to meet, and make a child...nothing else grows from that. Let's put the Bible aside for a moment. Let's just go scientific here... A sperm + egg= another life. It is how life begins. That's why two woman cannot have a child or two men, it takes a person with an egg and a person with a sperm(and let's not get technical about the people who have both, they are the exception, okay). I am talking about regular anatomy. It is simple.
Jon, the verses you referred to in Psalm:"you knit me together in my mother's womb" and "when I was made in the secret place" and ESPECIALLY "your eyes saw my unformed body" totally back up life at conception. A child in the womb goes through many different stages...that is why it takes 9mos(or is supposed to). Have you never seen an ultra sound or never taken sex ed? They show each very small stage. It takes 9 months for the baby to form in the womb, so that it can funtion normally. When a child is born premature they hook it up to everything so that it can continue to grow. The first three montths are the most crucial. A small blow to stomach can cause the child to die, because it has not formed all the parts to survive such a situation. Conception is no doubt in my mind the beginning. That is how God(bringing him back into the pic now) created it. Otherwise, people would take the chance with contreceptives...
Let me explain. Most contrceptives are 99% effective. I have been using them for over 14 years. During the two months that I chose not to use them, I got pregnant (thus, having only two kids). I am fortunate to not have to worry about trying hard to get pregnant. But in that same respect, I know if I don't use them, I will have about 14+ kiddos running around (I shudder at the thought, sheer insanity for me). Which boils down to the fact that when I don't prevent the meeting of the sperm and the egg, children happen. Now, if I had a 50/50 chance that when that egg and sperm met, I may not actually conceive a child, I might slack on the contrecptives a little. And we wouldn't have to worry about contraceptives being 99% effective then either. But we do, and that is why.
People just don't want to face the truth.
Why do we question something that has been proven scientifically??? Place the Bible aside for a moment and read you sex ed science! No bit of theology is going to prove it wrong.

Crystal McCoomb said...

I think moving to another country sounds even better right about now, at least as long as the economy doesn't completely fall a part.

I've been trying to work through perseptions of morality and I'm hoping some "openness and dialog" will help set my questions to rest. I've been reading that morality can be both defined individually and corporately, and that it is usually decided as what is best for the greatest amount of people. I guess I'm trying to figure out what relativism has to do morals. Thoughts anyone?

Jon-you said some days ago:
(gosh, I do love this italics feature)But I think this could be an amazing time of growth for individuals and also for our nation, to re-affirm our values and commitments to justice, personal responsibility, and compassion for our neighbors, both here at home and around the globe.

Who's values? What kind of justice? What system is going to regulate what a person's responsibility is? Are people going to willingly submit to this system?

Danial, you said-
I wouldn't be surprised to see the actual abortion rate drop during Obama's term. He is a powerful leader that inspires people

Why would you think that? Because of:
a renewal of hope and positivity and community?

Can you enlighten and elaborate on this a little more please?

Jason Hesiak said...

is there even a biblical notion of conception in the first place?

Let's put the Bible aside for a moment. Let's just go scientific here... A sperm + egg= another life. It is how life begins.

interesting. i guess that settles it, then. a funny guy was once commenting on the passionate spirit of a particular christian blog and its position, and said, "chalk it up to the irish drinking spirit." i guess here its, "chalk it up to protestant liberalism."

then the typical contradictions: the verses you referred to in Psalm:"you knit me together in my mother's womb" and "when I was made in the secret place" and ESPECIALLY "your eyes saw my unformed body" totally back up life at conception....Have you never seen an ultra sound or never taken sex ed?

you just got done saying, "lets put the bible aside." then its suddenly, "totally back up life at conception." makes no sense to me. i mean, uumm, david never "took sex ed." nor did he ever see an ultra sound.

Conception is no doubt in my mind the beginning. That is how God(bringing him back into the pic now) created it.

so, He was out of the picture to talk about the scientific way that life happens. then suddenly He was back in the picture to talk about how He set up the scientific way that life happens.
?

People just don't want to face the truth.

which one? david's or the scientist's?

Why do we question something that has been proven scientifically??? Place the Bible aside for a moment and read your sex ed science! No bit of theology is going to prove it wrong.

no, theology probably won't do that. but there is a lot of protestant liberal theology to support the kind of thinking displayed in those three sentences.

the same apple seeds were planted in two different gardens. i went looking for an apple to eat, and at the one that grew from the natural dirt. the one that grew from the garden that realy isn't a garden but is really a green blanket painted to look like grass with a big complicated machine under it...those apples taste funny to me. but they both look kinda like apples.

Jason Hesiak said...

on the ancient view of "conception"...fertility, life-bearing, ect...i think a good icon into that is Picasso's "Pregnant Woman":

http://www.worldvisitguide.com/oeuvre/O0026402.html

on that, from the following website...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/05/arts/design/05pica.html?n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/People/P/Picasso,%20Pablo

Pottery figures more prominently in the plaster-over-ceramic “Pregnant Woman” (1950). The sculpture has a layered symbolism, with potted jars and vases — historically, symbols of virginity — standing in for the breasts and belly of a fertility goddess.

i've seen a similar statue in D.C. by Picasso in bronze. the belly, breasts and parts of the face shine forth alsmost like an annointed one. if we are gonig to talk about "the ancient view", whether "pagan" or not, then we would be talking about something appearing and/or disappearing into or from the world. for the ancients, birth or pregnancy or whathaveyou would be highly associated with the divine, whether some fertility goddess or "God"(like in David's Psalms), because it would be an entirely new life coming to be in the world (or, what i am here calling "the world").

important for "the ancient view" would be that something appeared out of something hidden, or some hidden, deep, dark, kind of secret place (but not necessarily Gnostic!, lol!). when you look at either the bronze or ceramic/plaster versions of Picasso's "Pregnant Woman", you see that the outside, the visible, sensible saide of the belly, breasts and face - they shine forth. but the way its done, the way it shines forth, it very much leaves the impression of a deep hidden darkness on just the other side of what we see as the shining on the surface, the surface on which the "annointing" occurs.

Picasso, being a good modern, and his statues in this case being good didactic instruments, its as if those hidden deep dark recesses spill over onto the rest of what is visible in the statue. in the ceramic/plaster statue it is the plaster parts. in the bronze version, it is the same parts of the woman's body, but it is also bronze. its just bronze formed in a much rougher, more chaotic way, i guess you could say. similar to the APPEARANCE of the plaster in the ceramic/plaster version.

along the lines of the idea of seeing what is hidden...yeah david didn't ever see an ultrasound. when you come face to face with Picasso's "Pregnant Woman", you sense strongly that you are being given a glimpse of something from the other side of the veil, so to speak. Picasso's "Pregnant Woman" maintains a kind of ordered relationship between "the two sides of the veil", as I am here referring to it. An ultra sound forgets that there is a veil, and suddenly Psalms aren't about silent or wonderous awe, but about making sure that the political machineery runs a certain way.

Jason Hesiak said...

btw the reason i mentioned two apples that look similar but are from two different gardens...i think that "in the ancient view" they are "pro-life" as if by default. part of what happens when you can see everything (both sides of what used to be two sides of a veil) is you think that you can control everything. but the fact is there is still a veil and we still can't control everything.

Jason Hesiak said...

like Brennan Manning says about thunderstorms...they've gone "from theophany to nuissance."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theophany

ktismatics said...

Whether we agree or not, most Americans say they don't believe that life begins at conception. I think the majority go with a standard that says a fetus is a person when it could possibly survive outside the womb. As technology advances, fetal viability possible at ever-earlier stages of development. I wouldn't be surprised if within a generation a fertilized egg could be brought full-term in a laboratory, just like in the science fiction movies. It's already possible to fertilize an egg in a test tube, which from an extreme pro-life point of view means it's possible to engineer real human beings in a laboratory. Soon, advances in cloning technology will make it possible to produce new fetuses without even harvesting eggs and fertilizing them with sperm. We can celebrate or lament these scientific developments, which increasingly make life a matter of human choice, but it's going to happen regardless.

All this is off-topic regarding whether Obama is antichrist for not supporting an extreme pro-life position and appointing Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe V. Wade regardless of public opinion in the American democracy.

ktismatics said...

In a related development, there's this press release from John Podesta, head of the Obama transition team:

"I think across the board, on stem cell research, on a number of areas, you see the Bush administration even today moving aggressively to do things that I think are probably not in the interest of the country," Podesta said in a broadcast interview. "There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that," Podesta said. President Bush has limited federal spending on stem cell research, a position championed by opponents of abortion rights. Obama has supported the research in an effort to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Here's the most recent public opinion poll that I know of related to stem cell research, from June 2008:

There is a type of medical research that involves using special cells, called embryonic stem cells, that might be used in the future to treat or cure many diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and spinal cord injury. It involves using human embryos discarded from fertility clinics that no longer need them. Some people say that using human embryos for research is wrong. Do you favor or oppose using discarded embryos to conduct stem cell research to try to find cures for the diseases I mentioned?

Results:
favor = 73%
oppose = 19%
unsure = 8%

So here's a case where Obama would act unilaterally against the prolife position, but his proposed action is supported by a strong majority of Americans.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Crystal,

The "values and personal responsibility" I spoke of were very general, having to do with things like not overextending ourselves financially and taking initiative in relieving the suffering and oppression in the world. I wasn't meaning to say that any particular legislation was going to mandate it.

daniel hutchinson said...

Hoosier Reborn said:

A new era indeed-I liked what the pastor at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta said, "this represents faith over fear".

This is the theme that I've been picking up on regarding Obama's victory, and the fact that so many recognize this makes it more of a cliche, tired truth nonetheless true.

The Bible cautions us against both the fear of man, and trusting in man. So positions for and against Obama can both be wrong. Faith
towards God is what counts in the midst of this. Much of Christianity today will value faith as such, and negate the value of fear, but both positions have value when directed towards God.

I believe that God is sovereign over these affairs - that's what I mean by renewed hope, community, positivity, I perceive this with a sigh of relief and see God's hand in it to redirect America. However, if it just creates a renewed culture of self-reliance, its a set up for another round of failure.

We serve such a good, patient, loving God always willing to give another chance. I hope Obama takes the opportunity to lead "one nation under God".

daniel hutchinson said...

Jason said:

btw the reason i mentioned two apples that look similar but are from two different gardens...i think that "in the ancient view" they are "pro-life" as if by default. part of what happens when you can see everything (both sides of what used to be two sides of a veil) is you think that you can control everything. but the fact is there is still a veil and we still can't control everything.

A nuanced perspective Jason. This is really the sort of discussion one would prefer to have in real time.

Jason Hesiak said...

but in real time you can't show people googled images of Picasso's "Pregnant Woman"!! :)

Crystal McCoomb said...

Jasiak:

I was reading some more and I ran across pages on philoshophical absolutes by Paul Tillich...thought it was kind of interesting and might have some bearing on your mention of artistic examples of...whatever you were getting at mentioning the Pregant Woman.

there is a special category of people who acknowledge an essence for the individual, something absolute in him. They don’t always do this philosophically, but they do it through their works. They are the artists who create essential images of individuals in paint or stone, in drama or novel, in poetry or biography. They try to show the absolute, essential man, who shines through the temporal manifestations of a human being.
http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=1628&C=1617
Does this compute with what you were talking about at all?

Crystal McCoomb said...

Kt:

You've given a lot of info about the American majority's views on abortion (I don't think I was included in them, but still.) From what you've given, it could be said that America should make abortion legel because the majority says it's ok. Good things are even said to be coming from abortion-mainly stem cell research producing cures for horrible diseases. This seems to be the corporate morality.

However, morally how can abortion be based on the greatest good when adult stem cell research (I heard) shows better results than embryonic without any abortions having to take place?
If you think about all the abortions that have taken place in even in the past decade the numbers are in the millions. Reasons? Teen pregnancy/shame factors, inconvenience, and the fear of complications with the mother or child. Seems to me a covert Holocaust directly in our midst.

Just because the majority says it's ok doesn't always mean what is happening is right or correct. The slave trade and the treatment of African American through America's history pretty much is a good example of this. This leads to personal morality differing from the majority's views and even seeking to change the majority's position. So if the majority isn't always right, or if everyone is always just doing their own things (quite possibly not in harmony, esp if you bring survival of the fittest into the mix), then what is the standard? Doesn't there need to be a Higher Power deciding these morals for the sake of harmony and good to flourish?

(by the way I'm not just asking these questions to you, they're just coming off of things you mentioned).

Crystal McCoomb said...

Jon-
Okay...It seems however as if Obama's plans are less for personal responsibility and more for government intervention and national/constitutional type legislation on things that individual state laws have in the past had the power to decide. I think the media is having the greatest amount of power maybe ever in regards to the idea of Obama as president, so much so that I'm almost afraid to say anything against him. After all it's been said that he's "The One."
With his powerful media personality (he's very smooth, I'll give him that) combined with he's lack of experience in the face of huge things happening on many different levels within our nation I'm curious to find out what kind of "One" he is.

DHutch- I am definitly trusting in God' sovereignity on this one!:)

ktismatics said...

"Just because the majority says it's ok doesn't always mean what is happening is right or correct"

No, but that's how a democratic government works, isn't it? The Constitution includes its own rules about how to change it, and the rules depend on what the majority of the citizens decide. The Bush administration was willing to suspend or ignore parts of the Constitution that got in the way of what they wanted to do, which was bad enough. But the citizens and their elected representatives let them get away with it, which compounded the corruption. I'm glad to see that one of Obama's first moves will be to clear out the illegal Guantanamo prison, either actually charging and trying inmates for crimes or letting them go home.

ktismatics said...

"Seems to me a covert Holocaust directly in our midst."

That's a mighty strong accusation leveled at the majority of Americans who either tolerate or support a woman's right to have an abortion, Crystal. If I'd been in Nazi Germany and had the opportunity, I hope I'd have had the nerve to assassinate Hitler, or at least try, even if it meant my own death.

Would you, Crystal (or Eve or Daniel), try to kill a doctor who performs legal abortions? If not, why not? Is it because Jesus said to turn the other cheek, or because you don't want to go to jail? If collectively the majority of Christians came to believe that God was calling them to start a holy crusade of stopping the (legal but immoral) abortionists by whatever means necessary, would you participate? help in some other way? act as if you didn't know anything about it? turn the crusaders in to the police?

Jason Hesiak said...

there is a special category of people who acknowledge an essence for the individual, something absolute in him. They don’t always do this philosophically, but they do it through their works. They are the artists who create essential images of individuals in paint or stone, in drama or novel, in poetry or biography. They try to show the absolute, essential man, who shines through the temporal manifestations of a human being....
Does this compute with what you were talking about at all?


uummm...maybe kinda sorta yes and no and that's like REALLY REALLY complicated. first there's the question of what you mean by essence. do you mean it in the sense that aristotle meant it, or something closer to the sense in which, say, a New Ager might mean it (like more "spiritual")? or do you mean it simply in the context of forming a position against the "relativists"? or do you mean to ask if I mean to say that the ancients "believed in" essences and moderns to not? or do you mean to ask if an essence is empirically observable, since i was talking about the two sides of the veil? and if you mean to ask that, then...what exactly to you mean by that?

uumm...yeah...kinda complicated.

:)

Jason Hesiak said...

oh and crystal...i may check out that link better and i could maybe answer your question better. for now i gotta run...

Jason Hesiak said...

oh and crystal...i may check out that link *LATER* and i could maybe answer your question better. for now i gotta run...

Jonathan Erdman said...

Hhhhmmm....interesting dialog between Crystal and Ktismatics....quite a fascinating exchange.

daniel hutchinson said...

Ktismatics said:

Would you, Crystal (or Eve or Daniel), try to kill a doctor who performs legal abortions?

no.

Eve.........Interrupted said...

K:
Are kidding? No!! Most definately no! I am a peace maker, not a judge. It is not my call, even if I thought the doctor deserved to die. Which, might I say, I don't. I don't think anyone should deserve to die on a human level. That is for God to decide and God alone.

Daniel said...

My wife and I were discussing Obama last night, and how he has such a connection with his kids and his wife, and what an example they are of a strong and loving family. This alone I feel will have a positive impact when it comes to the abortion issue, inspiring fathers to take responsibility, and families to make it work. Children are a blessing. Only this realisation will change the core assumptions that lead to abortion. We were discussing how this is practically demonstrated by the Obama family.

In general, a life that is lived with integrity is more convincing and persuasive than policy, opinion and legislation. I.e. even if abortion is made illegal, it will continue underground, as it always has. It exists in the most stringent societies, an unspoken and hidden occurence in teen pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies etc.

And furthermore, it seems to me in American politics the abortion issue, gay marriage etc. have been ways for some politicians to manipulate people's fears and gain power, while perpetrating unjust wars and deceptions on a grand scale.

Obama has the right focus. Just seeing him with his wife and kids is enough to convince me. As a leader he will have multiple positive ramifications for American society and the world in general imo. He is challenging numerous stereotypes by his person and character and has an air of wisdom, we will see what that translates to in terms of action but the force of character is unstoppable and immeasurable.

Jonathan Erdman said...

We will have to discuss the abortion issue a bit more. There is an interesting article I would like to post sometime in the near future.

Crystal McCoomb said...

Kt:
I had to take a day and read up on the rise of Hitler. I was trying to figure off why Germans even let a guy like him come into power to do such horrible things and to Jews of all people. It turns out he manipulated and forced his way into leadership planning all the while for dictatorship and extreme nationalism through anti-Semitic actions. I found out that Germany had been a democracy republic for the 14 years between the end of WWI and Hitler's signing in. I also found out that the things that lead to his coming into power were largely the Great Depression and political chaos that allowed him to worm his way into a position of unstoppable authority. He was also a great orator. People liked hearing him speak. Even though he was popular, he never did get the majority vote of the German people.
He simply took opportunities as they came for more control until enough legal action had gone through for him to completely take over.

There are a few similarities between these historical instances and the situation America is in today, but I wouldn't say that these similarities exactly equal what happened in Nazi Germany.

Crystal McCoomb said...

What Hitler did was legal, but immoral. I don't know how to untwist what the majority of Americans want to see happen through legislation on abortion issues while not forgetting my own code of morally. I'm just going to do my part as peacefully as possible and trust God to be the Judge of whatever is decided. And no, I wouldn't try to kill anyone who was performing legal or illegal abortions. Sometimes you can't change the system the way you want it, but you can still live in ways that create change. I still hold that positively effecting one person at a time can change things on a larger scale over time( I believe something from the Talmud reflects that idea).

Crystal McCoomb said...

Jason-
My brain is too full of Nazi info to switch back to "absolute essences of being" with or without ultrasounds. I still have to sort it out more for myself anyway. Hopefully we can come back to it later:)

daniel hutchinson said...

Sometimes when people know deep down that something is wrong, they don't want to be told this; so one has to proceed in a different way.

Crystal, you are getting hyped up about a tangential connection between Hitler and Obama. Obama is not on a mission to wipe out the world's children, as Hitler was to wipe out the Jews (amongst others). Please, try and get some perspective here.

Jason Hesiak said...

crystal...just fyi...i read the first paragraph of Tillich's article and am already annoyed. considering not reading anymore but am probably gonna push on.

Jason Hesiak said...

well at least Tillich is honest:

I shall begin my search for absolutes by looking for them in the most abstract and difficult but theoretically fundamental realm -- the cognitive -- the realm of knowing. What does "absolute" mean here? Absolute (from the Latin absolvere, "to loosen.") means detached or freed from any limiting relation, from any particular relation, and even from the basis of all particular relations, the relation of subject and object.


aahhh yes of course that's where you would begin! being modern and all.

and he began the article with more strikingly unusual honesty: My choice of this subject was made out of a feeling of uneasiness... i think this has maybe something to do with the "culture of fear" that daniel was referring to.

he goes on to talk about a lot of cool stuff, but i don't like his approach to it, which was given away in the first paragraph about models and concepts.

also...what i was getting at is well addressed here:

In this simple phenomenon a whole world is implied and a demonstration is given of the interdependence of subject and object in every cognitive approach. The asking subject in every question already has something of the object about which he asks, otherwise he could not ask. But he remains separated from the object of his thought and strives for union with it, which means for truth. Having and not having is the nature of questions, and everyone who asks confirms this interdependent subject-object structure of the mind as an absolute for men as men.

i think tillich simply doesn't know what...hasn't touched the abyss. he talks a lot about the union of subject and object, but i don't think he really understands David's primal cries. before the spectacle of the self, "the existence" of god was...lets call it obvious for the sake of ease. everything he's talking about is wrapped up in spectacle, comes after a particular point in our history. its actually a rather violent moment, and that's why its hard to remember the primal moments previous to it. says jacques lacan, someone many of us around here enjoy :) the symbol manifests itself first of all as the murder of the thing.

btw though i've read on and now he seems to have just plum contradicted himself and not made an dern sense. he talked about the Latin root of "absolute" as "to loosen" (like, "to absolve", which for the Romans, of course, was probably a legal term), but then goes on later to say: Are there absolutes in the reality that is experienced? There are.

then he totally gives himself away: If we look at ourselves, however, and analyze the fascination, we discover that it is possible only because we are not just within the movement of being as becoming but above it. We can look at it, we know of it, we like it or are afraid of it, and this power of knowing is an absolute which makes it possible for us both to recognize and to be fascinated by the relative.

this is the COMPLETE OPPOSITE of "what i was getting at." again, the dawn of spectacle was a particular point in history. but then what he's getting at - this power to stand above becoming from an absolute position of knowledge -PAAAH! - that came WAY later than even the dawn of spectacle! tillich has just plum gone off his rocker. he's drunk, i'm sure of it. david was sane and sober and knew that whatever this power is that Tillich is referring to does not belong to him, and in fact was the "reason" why i said that "the existence" of god was obvious to a primitive man.

This power is the power of abstraction, the power to create universals in terms of language.

Tillich is a white dude from the West, right? arrogant bastard. my mom's dog thinks its human.

i'm done reading for now, i think crystal maybe you get my point. i may go back to it, but i'm bored now. plus its 8:15 and i'm still at work and am hungry.

peace out,

jason

daniel hutchinson said...

...the symbol manifests itself first of all as the murder of the thing.

This reminds me of Ornette Coleman's music, going straight to the "idea" (thing) by pushing aside "style" (symbol) in the quest for an enunciation of musical freedom.

It's interesting to ponder such things in light of Obama's win.

daniel hutchinson said...

http://www.voicescarryblog.com/ministers-bless-obama-they-know-not-what-they-do/

Wonder what folks here think of this.

My wife just told me Obama already has record number of death threats for a US president.

daniel hutchinson said...

I thought this line in Obama's inauguration speech -

"...a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate."

to be a subtle indictment of abortion.

And what an altogether awesome speech it was.

Well voted Jon.

Jonathan Erdman said...

Yeah, quite a day.

I didn't take that as an abortion reference, though.......I took it as an emphasis on family nuturing.....but who knows??!?!?!

daniel hutchinson said...

Yes, who knows!

But of course, to have a family you must be prepared to have a child, and what impresses me so much about Obama is the family commitment. Looking at his kids and wife on the podium, so secure and so much a part of what he is all about as president and leader.

This was my point on the abortion issue, that Obama leads by example. He shows what it means to be a husband, a father, a community leader, through his words and actions and body language (especially).

Obama's example is more of an effective argument against abortion and a better advert for "family values" than any self-righteous tirade imo.

His quote form Martin Luther King Jnr. earlier today, "anyone can be great, because anyone can serve". That's truth, Jesus said that!

Did you read about the private church service earlier today where T.D. Jakes gave the sermon? This is not all spin Jon. Aretha Franklin, the civil rights Rev, Rick Warren, John William's Shaker Hymn... God has allowed a real opening for the "better history" and also the African-American Church and its spiritual legacy to take center stage through Obama.

I'm excited about that. I see God's hand in all of this. I see a authority, anointing and destiny at work here.

We are experiencing it with you, in South Africa, in our own way. Lots of excitement all around the world. Not only for secular reasons.

God bless America!

Jonathan Erdman said...

Awesome bro......good to hear it!