Commemorating witch trials: 9-22-08
Are there more atheists? 9-24-08

The life of meaning: 9-23-2008

I mentioned here the other day that I was in Columbia, Mo., recently moderating a panel as part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of my alma mater, the University of Missouri School of Journalism.


One of the people who spoke that day was Bob Abernathy (pictured here), who spent 40-plus years with NBC news and who now hosts Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly on PBS. In fact, the organizer of the panel borrowed the title of the seminar from a book that Bob co-edited, The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World.

The book came out last year and I remember giving it a look, but the truth is I forgot I had it on my bookshelf, and only after the panel and having the chance to have a meal and a beer with Bob did I get it back off my shelf and have a closer look.

It's worth your time. It's a collection of interview answers and thoughts from people who have appeared on Bob's PBS show. And the list is quite impressive -- from Marianne Robson and John Polkinghorne to Barbara Brown Taylor, Francis Collins, Desmond Tutu and Studs Terkel. From Harold Kushner to Martin Marty, from Richard Land to Seyyed Hossein Nasr and from Diana Eck to Jimmy Carter, not even to mention Anne Lamott and William Sloane Coffin.

The interviews are wide-ranging, thoughtful and full of spirit. So if ths book is sitting on your shelf being ignored, as it was on mine, get it down. If it's not there at all, get it.

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Here's a shocker: Some people who are worried about the financial crisis on Wall Street are turning to religion, this report says. Yes, but if they join a congregation for silly reasons they're likely to leave for equally silly reasons.

* * *

P.S.: If you're interested in what the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas order of nuns thinks about this presidential election, you can read the group's new blog. Just click here.

To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.


Joe Barone

Thanks for sharing the Sisters of Mercy blog. They remind us that there is more than just our own narrow self-interest at stake in this election.

Sister Karen Donahue wrote: "As U.S. citizens preparing to choose new leadership for our nation, what can we do to break out of this mindset which places the 'security'of the United States and its citizens above all other goods and is willing to unleash horrendous violence in an attempt to achieve that security?"

Just Thinking

It doesn't surprise me at all that the same crowd of idiot 'conservatives' who have been backing the recent political candidates would turn to religion to get what they want in the stock market, too. Most of them view God as a holy gumball machine. Put in a prayer, hate the right people, and get your reward. Shallow and greedy.

You can see it in politics in much more extreme ways when it comes to tax cuts. The same 'christians' (small 'c') vote down health care for the children, and then proceed to spend their children's money in defecit tax cuts! What are these people thinking to rob all the future generations because they don't want to pay their bills. They're either thinking that they deserve it, or they just don't care any more. They want theirs, and all they need to do is pull the 'right' lever, and they get it. Thievery, pure and simple. This is the most corrupt, shallow generation of people we've ever seen in this country. So of course they're going to turn to God and government to restore their stock values. If they have to sell out more future generations to do it, then they will. Of course they'll have 'good' reasons for doing it, but it comes down to filthy, selfish greed.

I believe it was Karl Marx who wrote that democracy would collapse when people realized that they could vote themselves benefits. That day has arrived. Greed has brought us to this point, and greedy tactics are being employed to get us out. Vote ourselves benefits at the expense of everyone to come. Make sure to vote down health care for children, though, because that's less in our own pocket. Ask not what we can do for our country ... .


I don't have any harsh judgment or blame to offer the financial workers who are turning to religion. We wouldn't offer criticism for a low level plant worker who turned to religion in hard times. Many of the Wall Street people were simply cogs in the wheel, who had no idea that there was bad paper floating.

As for those who did know about the house of cards that was may be a good time to think about our own commitments to the value of both repentance and forgiveness. Who among us did not go blithely on our way, trying to get the greatest return on our IRA or retirement, without asking big questions about the ethics of those companies in which we invested?

Dolores Lear

"The Life of Meaning: "Reflections on Faith, Doubt, and Repairing the World", by Bob Abernathy.
Are Global Humans catching up with the USA's Bountiful Lifestyle since the 1940s.

The USA took over from Europe. China and India are taking over from the USA. How will the USA adjust in this Race for More 'Things'/Blessings from God? Nuclear War?

Gods Daily Promise, 9/23/08. This week's promise: God has conquered all our enemies How well are you running the race?

1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT "Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. All athletes practice self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what I should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. "

Paul was teaching about Earthly Gains. He had a problem with the Celibacy of the males, Jesus and his Disciples taught was necessary for males.

Who are all the enemies God has conquered? The 'Flesh' and 'Things'? God's Perfect Humans, took over God's Reproduction of Humans, that ended with Division, Disease, Killing and Death.

The Race of Life is not for Humans to Store up God's Blessing in Individual Barns, but to Overcome the Killing Competition Society, a result Killer Heterosexual Misbred Body Birth Humans.

Planetary Pollution and Nuclear Bombs, should not be the Goal of the Human Race for Eternal Physical Life After Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships.

Male Celibacy would Slow Down, the Destruction of our Overpopulate Home Planet.

Humans should be the Equal Reproduced Male and Female Caretaker Species of Life on a Planet, not the Unequally Reproduced Killer Species.

Just Thinking

Look at how those who profit from paper assets are so quick to dismiss actual assets and PEOPLE. Paper assets will EVENTUALLY come back if ACTUAL assets are protected. If wealthy, greedy tycoons convince everyone that it is the paper assets which must be propped up, then they will profit; but actual assets will fail.

Look at what has happened to so many neighborhoods across the country: foreclosures everywhere, vacant houses boarded up, criminals looting vacant houses, and lives severely disrupted. Those are the realities that illustrate the difference between concern for people and concern for paper assets. But this is one place that catering to the wealthy will FAIL. Neighborhoods won't come back just because paper assets are propped up. Assets will be lost, and foreclosures will continue as people walk away from properties that become more and more worthless. The poorer neighborhoods will be especially affected as this continues. Blight will spread.

Loan companies knew what they were doing when they made bad, non-traditional loans. But greedy people wanted fat commissions, including the loan companies who knew better. Many buyers didn't know they were getting duped. They were told that they could just sell or refinance down the road when the balloon payments came due, or when the introductory rates ended. But it wasn't true.

Bad loans were bundled into mortgage bonds and dumped. Bond consumers were duped because they thought the loans were correctly underwritten. But they weren't. Cheap money without proper underwriting artificially drove up housing prices, making the bonds that much more attractive. Everyone snapped up the bonds, including retirement funds, etc. The pyramid eventually collapsed.

If we let neighborhoods go, then we ALL lose. People and neighborhoods first. Paper assets second. Paper assets will eventually recover, but neighborhoods rarely do.


Financial crisis & hard economic times always make people search for meaning. However, if we examine what the scripture says about providing for self and families we'll see a rather contradictory Jesus.

Matthew 6
6:29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
6:30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (6:31-34)

"Take therefore no thought for the morrow"
Jesus says that we should not concern ourselves with material things, But Paul (1 Tim.5:8) says that anyone who behaves that way has "denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
Should Christians be concerned with material things?

6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


1 Timothy 5:8
5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel


On the subject of living with death (yesterday's topic) an interesting quote from Timothy about widows who have pleasure/fun in life - they are dead to god, he has clearly rejected them.

So, if you have a mother widow who has "pleasure" (presumably of any kind - assumably even having an ice cream woudl be "pleasure" and if she doesn't pray day and night" and is not desolate) she is not scoring any points with god. Even praying day and night maybe not the ticket to covenant with god. Ice cream, that would send you to hell in a waffle cone. Calling a living person dead is not very nice, by any strech of imagination. Kind of "unHuman"...

1 Timothy 5

5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusted in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.


On subject of witches and that some of them may have been mentally handicapped and killed topic from the other day) or just handicapped people ( another couple of worthwhile quotes below.

Surely all illnesses happen because of lack of faith (demonstrated conclusively through quotes from the Bible posted the other day), we know that god is the creator of all good and evil (in his own words). What about accidents? When someone looses a testacle, isn't it god's divine plan? so if someone has a penis/testacle problem, it is god who has caused it and he then condems them? Something is just not right here - I'd dare say "not just, not human, inhumane to be precise."

You can't go to church if your testicles are damaged or your penis has been cut off. 23:1

So if you plan to attend church next Sunday be ready to prove that your genitals are intact and don't forget your birth certificate and genealogical records for at least the last ten generations. Don't laugh. This stuff is important to God.

adam harrison

Iggy, since when do atheists have a moral problem with eliminating the handicapped?

After all, that is the major purpose of DNA tests and the like on the unborn.

And do you know what quotemining is?

adam harrison

By the way, you are lying about the last Deuteronomy quote.

Do you really think lying constitutes an argument, or is that just the way Russians are?

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