Building interfaith trust: 5-8-09
Pakistan's misuse of Islam: 5-11-09

New books on faith: 5-9/10-09


They just keep coming, all these new books with religious themes. And I'm guilty of contributing to the pile.


My new co-authored Holocaust-related book will be out this summer (click here for details). That's a picture of the cover of that book on the left. And my new book about the 100 years of Visitation Catholic Church in Kansas City also will appear this summer (click here for details).

But enough about me.

Before I get into this list, let me remind you that nobody can do an exhaustive review of every book with faith-related themes being published these days. So this list contains a sample. And by listing a book here I'm not saying I agree with everything the author writes:

* The Murmuring Deep: Reflection on the Biblical Unconscious, by Avivah Gottlieb Zornberg. This is a serious, nuanced, scholarly but quite readable book that brings the discipline of psychoanalysis to characters in the Hebrew Scriptures to help us understand their movtives -- indeed, their hearts -- better. But this is not pop pschobabble nonsense. Not by a long shot. This is wonderfully insightful material that anyone who has ever wondered what made biblical characters tick will appreciate. You even will learn (well, I learned) more about why Abram's name was changed to Abraham after God called him.


* The Theology of Tariq Ramadan: A Catholic Perspective, by Gregory Baum. The author is an experienced and well-known Catholic scholar who has spent much of his career in interfaith work. What he offers here is an intriguing analysis of one of the most interesting Muslim scholars now working, Ramadan, though often mired in controversy, essentially locates himself between traditionalist Muslims who would like nothing to change and to have little to do with modernity and those Muslims who pretty much want to throw over traditional Islam as a way of accommodating the religion to modernity. Ramadan wants Islam to engage modernity and to adapt to it but not to give up on its historic strengths. For any Christian seeking to get a better grasp of the dynamics of Islamic scholarship these days, this book is a must.

* World Religions: At Your Fingertips, by Michael McDowell and Nathan Robert Brown. This is another in the "at your fingertips" series (think "Idiot's Guide to Blank") and is useful as a handy reference for people who don't need lots of depth. It sacrifices some nuance for brevity but generally does a fair job giving the basics of a dozen and a half or so religions plus some general religious concepts. I'll keep it near my Huston Smith books, my Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions and my Introduction to World Religions, edited by Christopher Partridge.

* Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion, by Richard J. Foster and Gayle D. Beebe. If you are familiar with Foster's famous Celebration of Discipline, first published just over 30 years ago, you will want to look at this volume, which moves the discussion along a useful path. Here, Foster and his co-author look back at the work of more than two dozen influential Christian leaders, starting with some Church Fathers, seeking ways to engage in spiritual formation. For instance, they rescue John Calvin from the hyper-Calvinists who followed him and remind us of his crucial focus on the role of the Holy Spirit. This is a book that I bet study groups of Christians will be using for decades.

* The Furious Longing of God, by Brennan Manning. Not many authors can convey the power of God's love for humanity in quite the way Manning does. For that gift, one is tempted to overlook his repeating the falsehood that Jesus was the first Jew to call God father. Well, Manning puts it this way: "But only Jesus revealed to an astonished Jewish community that God is truly Father." That's just historical silliness, as is the simplistic notion that "Abba" translates to "Daddy" and that Jesus was the first Jew to employ the term in that way. That bad scholarship aside, Manning grasps the astoundingly relentless nature of God's love, and he celebrates it here.


* Signs & Wonders: Why Pentecostalism is the World's Fastest Growing Faith, by Paul Alexander. Some scholars believe that at the current rate of change, South America will be a Pentecostal continent before the end of this century. Indeed, Pentecostals now account for perhaps a quarter of the roughly two billion Christians on the planet. And Pentecostalism, with its attachment to the more sensational gifts of the Holy Spirit, are increasing in number in many places in the world. The author of this accounting of that phenomenon grew up in an Assembly of God church in Sedan, Kan. Eventually he moved away from this charismatic style of worship, but now he's been drawn back in. The book, though containing the author's personal story, is much broader. It's a fair and intriguing report on the phenomenon of Pentecostalism in our time.

*Refuge: A True Story of Faith and Civil War, by John and Bessie Gonleh, with Bruce Beakley. The the next two books, this is set in Africa. Liberia, to be specific, and tells the harrowing story of a Christian family -- the Gonlehs and their nine children -- caught in that chaotic country's devastating civil war. There is plenty of what I would call God language here but the authors aren't looking for easy answers that smooth over some of the world's absurdities and miseries. Rather, it's in the midst of all that hardship that they seek to be faithful. See also

* Where Mercy Fails: Darfur's Struggle to Survive, by Chris Herlinger and Paul Jeffrey. With a mixture of stunning photographs and searing text, this new book takes us inside the genocide in the Darfur section of Sudan. We learn anew -- and in heartbreaking detail -- what a monumental human failure the international response to the killing there has been. In some ways, this is like seeing a book showing the gas chambers of Auschwitz while they were still being used. Darfur is an ongoing catastrophe, and leaders of many countries -- especially the Sudanese perpetrators -- have blood on their hands. If we can't stop what's happening there, will we ever be able to stop evil anywhere?

* Emmanuel Kolini: The Unlikely Archbishop of Rwanda, by Mary Weeks Millard. Most of us know at least the basics of the story of genocide in Rwanda that started in April 1994. It was a massacre that took place (think Darfur today) while people who might have helped to stop it (Bill Clinton later apologized for not taking action in time) stood by. This book is the story of the Anglican archbishop whose job it was to pick up the pieces and work toward reconciliation after the slaughter. It's quite an admiring biography told by a woman who became the archbishop's friend. People interested in the difficult process of reconciliation after trauma will learn from what Emmanuel Kolini was able to do after such a bitter time.

* No Enemy to Conquer: Forgiveness in an Unforgiving World, by Michael Henderson. To follow the previous two books, this one celebrates the power to forgive and to create new possibilities after terrible breaches. Drawing inspirational -- at times almost unbelievable -- stories from all over the world, the author describes what it took to offer forgiveness and what difference it made. In the end, this is a book of hope in a world in desperate need of exactly that.


* The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500-Year-Old Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark, by Tudor Parfitt. A few years ago when I was auditing a Christian history class at a local seminary, I learned that there is a strong tradition in Ethiopia that the biblical Ark of the Covenant ended up in that country and still is there today, though the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has refused to show it and has said he doesn't have to prove the claim. One prominent theory among Ethiopians is that King Soloman and Queen Sheba had a child who brought the Ark to Ethiopia. Well, Tudor Parfitt, a professor of Jewish studies, has spent much of his life tracking down the so-called lost tribes of Israel. And now he believes he has found perhaps not the original Ark of the Covenant on a dusty museum shelf in Harare, Zimbabwe but quite possibly a direct descendent, with ties to the original. Whatever you think of his conclusion, it's a gripping story about an artifact with profound ties to Judaism, Chrsitianity and Islam.

* Hidden Holiness, by Michael Plekon. The author, both a college professor and a priest in the Orthodox Church in America, suggests here that it's too limiting to think of saints as just those halo-bearing people whose deeds no one can hope to match. Rather, he suggests we look to lesser-known people who offer us models for particular types of behavior that is both admirable and, in the end, holy. He introduces us to such people in a way that suggests we might do similar things in our own lives.

*Deepest Differences: A Christan-Atheist Dialogue, by James W. Sire and Carl Peraino. Oh, to have all conversations between Christians and atheists to be as civil and enlightening as Sire, a Christian, and Peraino, an atheist, have produced here. The book is a collection of their e-mail discussions that began after a book club meeting they both attended. People of all faiths and none can learn from this exchange. By the way, Sire got his Ph.D. from my alma mater, the University of Missouri. You need not know that to read the book, but I like to give the old school a nod now and then.

* Seeking Life: The Baptismal Invitation of the Rule of St. Benedict, by Esther de Waal. Anyone familiar with Esther de Waal's prominent writings on the Rule of Benedict will be glad she has returned to the subject to focus on the sacrament of baptism. She is a lovely writer who sheds light here on the inaugural event in Christian life and what it can mean on the road of discipleship.

* The Recollected Heart: A Guide to Making a Contemplative Weekend Retreat, by Philip Zaleski. This is an updated version of a 1995 guide to help readers use the Rule of Benedict to create a retreat to refresh their souls and gather strength for the journey. It would be a good book to combine with Esther de Waal's new book, mentioned above.


* Sojourner Truth's America, by Margaret Washington. At nearly 500 pages, this biography by a Cornell history professor illuminates in extraordinary but readable detail the life of the person she calls "perhaps the most remarkable woman in the nineteenth century." It is a thorough and careful book about a woman convinced she was called by God to fix much of what was wrong with her world -- or at least to inspire others to try to fix all that. It's a powerful biography about a powerful woman.

* The Limits of Liberal Democracy: Politics and Religion at the End of Modernity, by Scott H. Moore. The author, a Baylor philsophy teacher, gives us here a thoughtful and needed challenge to a lot of assumptions American Christians often seem to have about the value of democracy. The movement into post-modernity is requiring that we rethink these categories and ideas so that we remain faithful to our religious beliefs while remaining good citizens. That's nowhere near as easy in our changing world as it used to be, and Moore helps us think through that reality.

* All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, by Robert Jensen. What if the people who would call themselves religious fundamentalists and the people who would call themselves atheists were able to find away to learn from one another? And what if that learning led to action that increased the justice in the world and the possibility that we might nurse the Earth back to health? That's an overly simplistic way of describing the concerns of this book, but the author is worried that our current approaches to all this aren't working. Many might describe him as a political or even theological liberal, but he would argue -- correctly -- that such labels don't move us forward. This book is evidence that people who aren't trained in theology are, nonetheless and inevitably, theologians and called to think theologically.

* Faith Under Fire: An Army Chaplain's Memoir, by Roger Benimoff with Eve Conant. Even pastors have crises of faith. And perhaps nowhere is a pastor more vulnerable than in the midst of war. This is the story of how an Army chaplain, on duty in Iraq, dealt with his sense of being abandoned by God. It's frank and moving and should be a help not only to all chaplains but also to anyone whose faith has been tested in trauma.

* Reclaiming Virtue, by John Bradshaw. At more than 500 pages, this is a profoundly detailed journey through the territory of virtue -- what it is, how to get it, how to celebrate it. The author, who gained fame doing PBS lectures on what shames us and how to fix that, seeks to help us understand what moral intelligence is and why it's so vital in our time. Bradshaw is not for everyone, but he's does what good authors always do -- he makes readers think. Some of those readers eventually may act on what Bradshaw says, and that would be good for society.


* Cartwheels in a Sari, by Jayanti Tamm. The author was born into what she now describes as a cult, the Sri Chinmoy Center. Chinmoy, a guru from India who came to the United States to teach, quite literally named Tamm and claimed her, she writes. The book is the story of how she finally freed herself from what she believed was an unhealthy, even sick, life within the Chinmoy community. It's a cautionary, fascinating tale about giving one's unquestioning devotion to someone who is anxious to control nearly every facet of one's life.

* Turtle Feet: The Making and Unmaking of a Buddhist Monk, by Nikolai Grozni. Oh, my. You'd better be sitting down at all times to read this one. It's the fast and furious story of a man born in Bulgaria who becomes -- and then un-becomes -- a Buddhist monk. His travels to northern India and his eventual realization that he has to leave something in order to understand it make for an almost dizzying ride. If you are a spiritual explorer, this may appeal to you, though I'm guessing that Grozni has out-explored you.

* Jesus in the Lotus: The Mystical Doorway between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality, by Russill Paul. The author seeks to connect the best of Christianity with the best of Yoga. No doubt many people will have difficulty making this connection between Western and Eastern spiritual traditions. And, indeed, it won't work for everyone. But interfaith dialogue and connections can be many and need not require followers of one tradition to abandon their roots and practices just to experience another tradition. That's part of the message here.

* The Living Universe, by Duane Elgin. Is the universe in which we live dead or alive? The answer has profound implications for how we live. Elgin argues that it's very much alive and that we must live in its presence in ways that respect that. It draws on the insights of faith traditions to foster the idea that someone human life must exist in harmony with the living cosmos.

* Making the Good Life Last: Four Keys to Sustainable Living, by Michael A. Schuler. In some ways, this can be thought of as a companion book the the Duane Elgin book I just mentioned. The author, a Unitarian-Universalist pastor, seeks here to walk readers through ideas about how to live responsibly on an Earth that humanity has been degrading for a long time and how to root that kind of lifestyle in reliable spiritual guidance.

* God's Master Plan for Your LIfe: Ten Keys to Fulfilling Your Destiny, by Gloria Copeland. If you're into the kind of name-it-and-claim-it, prosperity gospel approach that TV evangelist Kenneth Copeland and his wife Gloria promote (I'm not), then you'll want this book. It's a spiritual self-help volume. I found it offered pretty unremarkable advice.

* Work in Progress: An Unfinished Woman's Guide to Grace, by Kristin Armstrong. The woman who went through a difficult divorce from bicyclist Lance Armstrong speaks here forthrightly and even tenderly to women about what's really important in life. As a male, I found what she has to say about physical beauty and its dangers especially interesting.

* Designer Women: Made by God, by Ruth Tuttle Conrad. The author, now ordained as a Christian pastor, struggled with ideas about the place of women in the church. In this book, she outlines what she has learned by looking at the lives of 10 women in the Bible and offering encouragement to other women.


* Promises I Made My Mother, by Sam Haskell, with David Rensin. Sam Haskell spent a lot of years in the television entertainment industry, where it's easy to lose one's moral bearings. He kept his, he writes here, by remembering things his mother told him when he was growing up in Mississippi. It's a refreshing story about solid moral values that takes us inside the lives of lots of people we know from the world of entertainment.

* Angel Animals Book of Inspiration: Divine Messengers of Wisdom and Compassion, by Allen and Linda Anderson. This is a charming little book full of charming little stories about how animals can be bearers of truths from God. If the premise sounds a little suspect, well, I might agree. But some of the stories are quite engaging. The the animals here are more active than the only dog I own, which is ceramic. I've named him after what he does best. His name is Stay.

* Angels in My Hair: The True Story of a Modern-Day Irish Mystic, by Lorda Byrne. The author lives in rural Ireland and has been seeing -- and communicating with -- angels since her early childhood, she says. She tells straightforward stories of bumping into angels all over the place, and it's hard not to think that she's perfectly sane and that she believes what she writes.

* Esteem MakeOver: God's Edition, by Mishunda Wallace. A review copy of this wasn't available, but I've had some e-mail conversation with the author, a Kansas Citian. She tells me that she long struggled to see herself as "pretty, talented, worthy or lovable. . . An abusive childhood, bad decisions and the absence of a personal relationship with God made it impossible for me to see myself as the glorious creature God had made me to be." The book describes her struggle with all that and how she overcame it.

* As you may know, I don't mention many fiction books here, but since I did point you to the first in the "Belles of Timber Creek" series of Christian fiction in this 2008 posting by a Missouri writer, Lori Copeland, I thought you might want to know that her second book in the series, Three Times Blessed, is out now. It's a tale of survival and relationship, and you can read more about it at the Amazon page to which I've linked you. By the way, the author has been inducted into the Missouri Writers Hall of Fame.

* * *


Pope Benedict XVI is on his Middle East journey now, and I thought this Time Magazine piece about what he must do there was pretty much on target. As you may know, I think the best Vatican observer is John L. Allen Jr. of the National Catholic Reporter. Click here for his report from Jordan, the pope's first stop. And for a description of the trip on the Web site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, click here. AND: For a Sunday update on the pope's trip, click here.

* * *

P.S.: Mental Health America of the Heartland, with some other agencies, is offering a program called "Help for God's Hurting People" on Friday, June 5, in Kansas City. It's for pastors and others to help them recognize signs of depression and to equip them to get help for people who need it. Details are on the site to which I've linked you here.



Bill, I'll be excited to get your book asap when it comes out this summer! And the books about Darfur's struggle to survive, and Christian-Atheist dialogue, also sound intriguing. I wasn't as interested in the one where Atheists were referred to as "people who would call themselves Atheists." Seems a little patronizing to me -- why not just call people what they call themselves? Why not respect THEIR assessment of who they are?

From yesterday -- Just Thinking asked me (in reference to my views on breastfeeding), "Is there anything you can stand for, which does not require you to rebel against something or somebody?"

The first definition for rebellion in Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary is "opposition to one in authority or dominance." I have never opposed the legal authorities in order to breastfeed. Actually, many states now have laws protecting women's right to breastfeed in public -- sadly, some individuals (even police officers) have at times unwittingly rebelled against the laws in their state out of ignorance, and have harassed breastfeeding mothers. But I think things are slowly improving, as with racial discrimination. (link to laws and one sample of harassment coming)

So, yes, to answer your question -- I stand up for quite a few things without needing to rebel against any authority. Now, if by "rebel" you really meant "disagree" -- where is the need to "stand up for" something if there is no opposition? Of course, I think we are all "for" lots of things that no one opposes. (Continued)


(Continued) As to the things we are just "for," but never have to "stand for" (as they are never opposed), I think we often just take these pleasures for granted, and never think about them much. Let alone discuss them, or share our reasoning for WHY we are so for them. This is where it's probably a good idea for each of us to take some time and "count" all the little blessings that we've never had to "stand for" because literally NO ONE is against them.

For example, from what I've learned of the Yequana Indians of South America, they seem to share my view that breasts are for feeding children -- and also my view that babies have a right to free and continuous access to their mothers' breasts. But I have a feeling that they're not engaged in debates about this: It's just a way of life, everyone accepts it, and they just do it -- no big deal.

As with just about every post on this forum, my posts are about issues that not everyone agrees on. It's because there is more than one view, that we deem these issues worthy of intense discussion. Of course, it's really not rebellion against "authority," when you think a particular cultural norm is causing harm, to take it apart and evaluate it for what it really is. Different people will obviously see it differently - but this is where rational people come up with intelligent counter-arguments to the actual ideas being expressed, rather than speculating about underlying "mental conditions" in the person they disagree with, because how DARE she not see it like me!(Continued)


(Continued) Just Thinking, in answer to your question, "Of course you've never been injured by any of it, have you?" -- I never claimed that my children or I have been personally-harmed by Western-society's sexualization of the breast. I surrounded myself with good breastfeeding support, and I stayed the course and became very-empowered in the process. Each of my two daughters has gotten to wean at her own pace. My "baby" is now four year old, and public breastfeeding is no longer something my family is personally dealing with.

But I continue to speak up in support of mothers who seem vulnerable to social disapproval -- as well as speaking up in blogs like this when some misinformed person thinks it's okay to compare breastfeeding to sex or urination (when the obvious-comparison is to EATING). As Cole Morgan has said, you never know who else might be reading. I don't hold out much hope for people who sexualize little babies and see a similarity between a nursing baby and a grown man "eating off of a naked lady" -- but I'll counter their nonsense, because of the mother who just might need some encouragement and support to stay the course.

Also, even though the most hard-boiled opponents of public breastfeeding probably won't change their minds -- if their nonsense gets challenged enough, they'll stop bringing it up because they'll never know who's going to give them an earful. They'll start keeping their poisonous attitudes to themselves, and that's better for mothers and babies.

In case anyone's wondering how this topic came up, a few days ago Bill asked us to share about our religious shifts, and I shared how my previous church's negative attitude toward public breastfeeding, got me questioning whether this was where I really belonged.

Wow, the posts were crazy yesterday.

JT, you and I are going in circles. I feel you are trying a clouded smoke screen. A KC Shuffle.

You think your biblical laws are correct, judging from your past scripture quoting posts. How do you know your god-rules are correct? How do you know your god exists? Sciences and god(s) have nothing in common. One is ancient bronze-age myth and the other is rational modern explanations…we live longer each generation. Why do you think that is…?

Your statements against Susan’s concerns about rules are typical status quo crap. How do you think Women, Native Americans, Afro Americans, Gays and now the Nonreligious have more rights by rebelling against the status quo. Most of the time based from some kind of religion. And as they see themselves loosing ground, and maybe members, join the bandwagon and later announce, “Oh, we were always for them.” BS! Not the case, most of the time. If this were not so laughable I would quit posting here. None of you Xs here get along. You all want to tell each other the correct way to worship god. And there isn’t one. God is not there.

Intolerance can only end when we respect our secular constitution and the bill of rights.

Said, “By the way, Cole, your last few posts contain some remarkable sentences and insults...exactly like those IGOR used to make. A striking conincidence, wouldn't you say.
Too bad you are not REALLY about "Peace and Goodness".”

I have no idea what you are talking about Iggy and I. I am about peace and goodness, you just don’t get it. This is why I post here.

Picnic is today. 3pm, Penguin Park –NKC MO. - , bring your own food and a blanket in case a shelter is not available. Looks like a sunshiny day, Bill.

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

If god is all powerful/knowing and has a plan for everybody, why isn’t he helping god’s hurting people?

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

Book: Jesus in the Lotus: The Mystical Doorway Between Christianity and Yogic Spirituality.
"- But interfaith dialogue and connections can be many and need not require followers of one tradition to abandon their roots and practices just to experience another tradition. That's part of the message here."

Interfaith dialogue and connections, have been going on, since the High Tech Colony of Adam and Eve 'fell' to Body Birth, and lost their High Tech.

High Tech returned to the Noah/Atlantis Society, and a Planetary Flood destroyed most of that High Tech Civilization.

'Abram' with Lot, the nuclear bombs at Sodom and Gomorrah, also had the Children in the Wilderness, with the God of the Pillar of Fire and Smoke, 'before' the Flood.

The 'Abraham' and his sons by three wives, was part of the Repopulation of the MidEast, mistranslated by Humans 'after' the Flood.

Most Humans today do not Accept a Planetary Flood. Humans should separate these Old Testament records, to Before the Planetary Flood, BF, and After the Flood, AF.

Genesis has the Colonization, the Planetary Flood that lasted over one year, and the repopulating the Earth since the polluted Planet was washed clean.

This is also recorded in Myths about Atlantis, and other Flood stories Planetwide.

'After the Flood', Natural Humans started repopulating the Planet. All the 'supernatural' god teachings, since, were handed down Generation to Generation.

And without World Contact, many Religions, and Governments resulted, with the information each group of survivors had.

We are a Planetary High Tech Society again, of 7 Billion Divided Humans.

Humans have a Planetary Fire Catastrophe set up, with our Nuclear and Pollution and Bombs on land and sea.

The Ozone Canopy will also be destroyed, and Earth will be like Mars, no atmosphere, no Life.

Dolores Lear

All these male and female harassment about Morals, can be Overcome with High Tech Science Reproduction of Male and Female Clones like 'God' did, in Genesis.

Genesis 1:27. KJV. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them."

Not by Heterosexual Body Birth. So translations do not make sense, to explain, Humans to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

That is not how God created them, and explanation was added by Natural Born Humans.

Genesis 2:21,22. "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

With a High Tech Translation, this does not mean by Heterosexual Body Birth, but High Tech Cloning. Genesis 1 and 2 are supposed to be by different writers.

So what happens when Humans Translate these writings of religion and myth with a High Tech Explanation?

We do Know about High Tech Colonization of a Planet, and Cloning today. All the Moral disagreements can be Overcome.

Human marriage, breast feeding, how to raise children, and what the Morals for male and female marriage, the use of sex for reproduction and pleasure, and mixed male/male and female/female habitation, are numerous.

Why do we have Eunuchs, circumcision, and all the things we do to Male member? And in some cultures circumcision of the female member? An tying male and female reproduction tubes. All about Controlling sex Lust?

So what are Human Morals? Not the Ten Commandments, but Controlling the Male Seed.

Just Thinking


You write, "I feel you are trying a clouded smoke screen."

I corrected your bad logic yesterday and now you "feel" like that is a smokescreen? Logic is at the opposite end of the spectrum from what you "feel," Cole. Asking you to think rationally, Cole, is not a smokescreen.

You've started to sound as emotionally disturbed as Susan.


Yes, you are a rebel without a cause. You're demanding that society change to suit whatever whim you have today, even though nobody is being harmed by societies "rules." That's rebellion, Susan. There is no other word for it, because it has nothing to do with necessity. You just don't like being told what to do. You thrive on melodrama.

There's really no end to what selfish people will want changed for their CONVENIENCE, even when it's no skin off their back if it isn't changed. It's just a game of fighting against the "rules" of civilized society. You know, Susan, throwing your self on the blog floor, and throwing a blow tantrum isn't going to change anything. The blog writer doesn't determine rules for civilized behavior. Those are collectively set.

"For example, from what I've learned of the Yequana Indians of South America, they seem to share my view..." In other words, "see, they agree with ME." So what, Susan? They don't vote here.

"Of course, it's really not rebellion against 'authority,' when you think a particular cultural norm is causing harm..." Nobody is being harmed, Susan. You, yourself admitted that when you wrote, "I never claimed that my children or I have been personally-harmed ..."

"But I continue to speak up in support of mothers who seem vulnerable to social disapproval..." Exactly how are they being harmed again? I don't think you speak for anyone except your rebellious self.

Dolores Lear

"If god is all powerful/knowing and has a plan for everybody, why isn't’t he helping god’s hurting people?"

God did not Reproduce 'hurting people', the Male does.

Until Humans again accept High Tech Purebred Reproduction, 'hurting people' and a 'hurting home planet' will continue until Misbred Humans destroy all Life and our Planet's Eco System.

It is Time, before the End of Life on Earth, to at least acknowledge what is happening on Earth is not by the Lord God, Our Human Ancestors in our Human Image, but the Humans on Earth.

Whether by Evolution of Humans to Heterosexual Body Birth, or Purebred Human Clones Falling to Heterosexual Body Birth, the Male Seed is the Common Denominator, of all Killing, Inequality, Inhumanity and Morals for Human Life on our Planet.

But with our High Tech Science Knowledge of Colonization and Human Clone Reproduction, this is the Knowledge that can Save the Life on our Planet, before the Last Days 'Arm'ageddon and Judgment Day Fire, that will Kill Planet Earth.

Eternal Physical Life After Birth is Possible today, with High Tech Reproduction and Regeneration, using the Elements of Life in the Universe.

What is Visible Eternal Human Life After Birth, but the Return to Invisible Universe Life Elements.

Dead Humans, or any Physical Life on Earth Returns to Invisible Element Life, with Generation Birth, Death, and Rebirth Life Elements, until a Planet Dies.

Eternal Physical Life After Birth, is for Living Humans, on Planets and in Spaceships.

Just Thinking


Have you ever considered moving to Berkeley? There was a time in Berkeley that they let people walk around completely naked and attend classes that way. I'm sure you would have approved. Of course, it did infringe on the rights of people to wear white clothes in Berkeley during that time, because you never knew who had been sitting on the bench or in classroom chair before you, and whether or not they were dressed at the time. So you might end up sealed with a kiss if you wore white.

Berkeley is full of "rebels without a cause," and you'd fit right in. Like you, "naked guy" Andrew Martinez wasn't being harmed by "rules" of civilization. In a 1992 guest column in the Oakland Tribune, he wrote: "When I walk around nude, I am acting how I think it is reasonable to act, not how middle-class values tell me I should act. I am refusing to hide my dissent in normalcy even though it is very easy to do so."

Sounds like your reasons, Susan. Nothing to do with necessity or being oppressed. Indeed, "even though it is very easy to do." Definitely sounds like you, Susan. Like you, it had nothing to do with being harmed or inconvenienced, but only about what *he* wanted to do.

Your obsessions wouldn't register in the noise level in Berkeley. Berkeley is very "tolerant." Unfortunately, tolerance sometimes means uncaring. Ignoring aberrant "rebllion without a cause" is not necessarily a good idea. Tolerating and condoning Martinez's aberrant behavior resulted in his untreated schizophrenia destroying him. Antisocial "rebellion without a cause" can be a symptom of a problem. Especially when it is compulsive.

Your link about mental health is good, Bill. "Tolerating" cancer isn't a solution either.


Cole, I believe God is calling US to be the help for the hurting people we see. We are His body. And it really sounds to me like you are plugged in and listening, helping wherever you see a need that you're able to help with. The more of us who are willing to listen, care, and BE the solution, the better things will get.

One thing about a secular, diverse society like ours is that there is not any one set of rules, and there are often rules that contradict each other. I.e., for those of us who believe breasts are for babies, and who also believe listening to the baby is the best way to learn what each baby needs, the rule that babies have a right to free and continuous access to their mothers' breasts is as obvious as the nose on your face. In contrast, for those who've allowed the uniquely-Western sexualized view of the breast to take over in their minds, their rule that babies' needs should take a backseat to the feelings of adult males seems like such a given, they don't see how any sane person could think otherwise.

I've been asked how women and babies are being harmed by our culture's sexualized view of breastfeeding. Many mothers lead busy lives, and aren't in a position to stay home all the time. Also many mothers don't have my "balls" or what some might call my "rebellious streak" -- and mothers like this have said that they personally found it more workable to switch to bottlefeeding, because they don't like offending people, and they have to meet other family-needs besides just their baby's need to nurse, so they have to get out there and do stuff, and bottlefeeding becomes the more "practical" choice.

Now I need to go prepare food for our picnic -- see you guys there!

Red Biddy

I agree with Cole - the posts were crazy yesterday !

a.theist please don't lump me in with WG, adamh, JT et al. I would never quote anything from Wikipedia ! I prefer Encyclopedia Brittanica - at least you can check on who is actually writing the "opinion."
Still your quotes from Wikepedia re QT, Relativity etc... demonstrated your excellent typing skills ! Thank you.

Dolores, I see signs in your last post (yesterday) that we might make an evolution supporter out of you yet !
You laid out the challenge:
Now is the time to prove that past religious writing and myth, prove cavemen and women evolved on earth.

Or, that God created life on earth, as our High Tech Ancestors in Genesis and they colonized earth and travelers in space.

You also said "Evolution just started recently". Surely you meant that the Discovery of Evolution just started recently. Evolution has been going on since the beginning of time. And Time did not start with the book of Genesis or the unknown birth of Christ ! Our "modern" method of ,measuring time is quite arbitrary based on religious dates rather than space time !
Stephen Hawking at the end of "A Brief History of Time"summed it up beautifully:-
"With the success of scientific theories in describing events, most people have come to believe that God allows the universe to evolve according to a set of laws and does not intervene in the universe to break those laws. However, the laws do not tell us what the universe would have looked like when it started - it would still be up to God to wind up the clockwork and choose how to start it off. So long as the universe had a beginning we would suppose it had a creator, but if the universe is completely self contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end, it would simply be. What place then for a creator?"

Red Biddy

The trouble you have with your mythical theories based on Genesis and the planetary flood idea is that they don't fit in with what we know about geological, anthropological, pre-historical and post-historical history. Stuff we can actually prove with Modern High Tech science !!!
You've got bogged down in a view of a very young world, Trying to fit human history into thousands of years rather than millions just won't work ! Not with what we know now !
You asked yesterday about the Megalithic period -"Ruins similar to our Coliseum - don't look like cavemen built them."
Have you actually seen the Coliseum ? Been to Stonehenge or seen the Avebury Circles and compared them ? I have ! They are not a bit alike !
Civilizations developed differently in different parts of the world.

Just think on this....the indigenous people, the Aborigines of Australia have been there CONTINUOSLYfor 35,- 70,000 years ! A very ancient people. How do they fit in to your Noahs Ark Planetary Flood idea ?

Cataclysms have occurred in Geological time.Fossil evidence points to complete wipe outs of almost everything on earth, but then it all started up again. But these events were millions of years ago not thousands !

One of my favorite quotes just popped into my head !

"When your ancestors were running around in woad and bear skins, mine were worshipping the one God in the Temple in Jerusalem!"
Benjamin Disraeli, (1st Jewish Prime Minister of England)

Red Biddy

I need to correct the Benjamin Disraeli quote - it should read (according to the Internet !)
"Yes, I am a Jew and when the ancestors of the Right Honorable Gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon."

Someone really should compile a book of the most eloquent insults. How about it Bill ? You used to write wonderful satire - are you up for it ?

adam harrison

Could you please explain your remark about Disraeli, Biddy?

Is your problem that he was a Prime Minister commenting on religion, or that he was a JEW?

Dolores Lear

The picnic was fun. Enjoyed everyone.
Lynne, the post I was referring to as yours, was Red Biddy. :)

Red Biddy:
Dolores, I see signs in your last post (yesterday) that we might make an evolution supporter out of you yet !
You laid out the challenge:
Now is the time to prove that past religious writing and myth, prove cavemen and women evolved on earth. -
The trouble you have with your mythical theories based on Genesis and the planetary flood idea is that they don't fit in with what we know about geological, anthropological, pre-historical and post-historical history. Stuff we can actually prove with Modern High Tech science !!!

Structures are different in different parts of the world today also.

I still accept Modern High Tech Human Clones did Colonize Earth. How those High Tech Male and Female Clones 'evolved' on another Planet, remains to be Revealed.

Evolution, nor Religion, take into consideration, since we Know how to Colonize a Planet, that our Planet was Colonized. Why?

People in the past kept these events of Colonization, and Cloning Humans in their Scriptures. Why ignore them?

Natural Humans could not make up the High Tech Colonization Steps in Genesis, nor that Eve was Cloned from Adam's Rib. Why would they?

They recorded the Genesis Planetary Flood was over 1 year. Humans read it wrong, and taught a 40 day and night Local Flood. It was still taught in my church, in the 1970s. And in Movies. Why?

If there were Human cave people types, it was not recorded in Scripture and Myth.

All the Electro-Magnetic Action in the Flood, can explain many of the Science explanations about the new Top Strata.

Science should prove an Ice Canopy fell, tilted the Axis, and broke the Continents apart; the ice is at our poles.

The Planetary Flood will explain the Continental Drift, and Ice at our Poles, was not millions of years.

Dolores Lear

This post is the result of our talk, about me getting my Clone Male. :)

Half Breed Humans, usually means people of different skin colors, Reproduce Children that are half breeds.

All Humans are Half Breeds, of each Parents Genetics, even with the same skin color.

Adam and Eve had the same Genetics and Physical Characteristics; they were Purebred Humans.

No Two Male and Female Body Birth Humans are Purebred, Not even multiple births.

In Genesis, the Ideal Clone Humans, is the Female Copy of the Male.

Since the Original Male Clones Reproduced by Heterosexual Body Birth, Human Half Breeds, have been Killing Each Other, and their Home Planet.

In Revelation, 144,000 virgin males that had not Known a female, are to be the ones Saved, like Celibate Jesus.

The Celibate Males will be taken to a new Planet. Then their Female Clones will be Reproduced, from the male rib like in Genesis.

So our Picnic Outing was really great for me. I was hoping that I could go with Our Ancestors, Alive, like Jesus did, but according to Scriptures, it does not look possible. So no Male Clone of me. :)

But Physical Dying does not destroy Life Elements. Our Atom and ElectroMagnetic Elements never die, they just change form.

Humans have to Keep their High Tech Science, to escape their Planet when their Sun dies, until their Universe Collapses into a Black Hole.

But that is not the End. The Elements explode into another Universe. This is for the Human Clones that have the High Tech, J.T. posts about, to escape to another Universe.

High Tech Human Male and Female Clones, do have Eternal Physical Life After Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships.

If this was not True, LIFE Elements would also Die, and there would be No Universe Elements, for Life as we Know it.

Genesis, and Revelation are High Tech Blueprints.

Dolores Lear

Again, I will try to comment about Christian Humans Dying, and Going to Heaven to be with Jesus, when they also teach that Jesus is Alive, for 2000 years, up in Heaven/Space.

Christians teach that Jesus died, and rose again Alive, in a Regenerated Physical Body. And went up in the air, sitting at the right hand of the Father of Life on Earth.

In the USA, passengers sit at the right hand of the Driver in a car. I think our airplanes are the same way.

Since Jesus sat at the right hand of the pilot, in their saucer or whatever, Jesus went up in the air, Alive. Supernaturally/High Tech means the same thing in our Time.

Why do Christians teach when we die, we will go to Heaven to be with Jesus? Loss of High Tech Knowledge for Natural Humans?

The Original Jewish Christians wrote these writings about Jesus going with the One God? How did this end up the Catholic Religion with a Trinity God Religion including Jesus?

Christians also teach at Judgement Day all Dead Christians will be made Alive, and Judged who will go with Jesus Alive to another Mansion/Planet in the Sky.

So why do Humans accept the Belief, that when we die we will go to be with Jesus, who has been Alive for 2000 years?

With all our High Tech Science today, Belief in writings from Humans without High Tech, needs a new Translation, with Today's High Tech Science.

Science and Religion are both about Life and Death. Our High Tech Science today, has all types of Regeneration Science Operations and Medicines.

Humans should accept, with Good High Tech Cloning, and Regeneration, and High Tech Spaceships, that Human can have Eternal Physical Life After Birth, on Planets and in Spaceships.

JT, I’m not the one who believes in an imaginary world. How rational is it to pretend to eat the flesh and drink the blood of a person/god/jesus?

The picnic was great fun. Maybe next year we will see some new faces.

Happy Mother’s Day to you Mothers. Have a great Day!

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Dolores Lear

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers.

My son brought me a fruit bowl, Friday, as he could not come today.

My daughter and I are celibrating, as we do each Mother's Day, by going to a Casino. :)

So Happy Day to All.

Lynne -

Loved the picnic yesterday, everyone!

JT, your posts of late have really devolved. Why is breastfeeding such a sore spot for you? When I breastfed my kids, nobody seemed to care if I did it in public. I was discretely draped, but that was for MY comfort not because I was worried about what people like you might think. I honestly have never met anyone before over the age of 15 who was uncomfortable with the idea of a woman breastfeeding in public. Why in the world would anyone have a problem with that? It seems that it's YOU who is rebelling against cultural norms, not Susan, because from what I've seen most people in America are fairly accepting of the idea. So why are you so opposed to it, JT? Oedipal complex, perhaps?

Lynne -

I'd also like to point out that some young women in nightclubs show more cleavage than I ever did while breastfeeding in public. Really, the whole idea that anyone would object to nursing babies out in the open is patently silly!


Happy Mother's Day to Dolores, Lynne, and all other mothers!

I had a geat time meeting and visiting with those of you who came to the picnic! And thank you, Bill, for taking time to come. It's fun to now have a mental picture of some of the people I chat with everyday.

The other day Just Thinking wrote, "The blog writer doesn't determine rules for civilized behavior. Those are collectively set."

Again, we now live in a multi-cultural, and multi-religious/philosophical society. There is no longer just one set of rules. Sure, there seem to be some basics that everyone, whatever their background, recognizes. I.e., just about everyplace I've been, if you smile in the face of a stranger, they will usually smile back.

I think there are basic ways in which most everyone is fluent in communicating human warmth, caring, and consideration, regardless of cultural or language differences.

But one more thing about having the whole world in this one city -- everyone is also becoming aware that you can't just assume everyone is operating by the same specific "rules" in every area. I.e. some kids grow up referring to non-related adults by first names, and some kids are raised to use surnames and say "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir." (Continued)


(Continued) Lynne, I just saw your posts, and thanks for your support! I agree that most people seem accepting of public breastfeeding -- my own babies never tolerated being draped, so maybe that's why I got the occasional criticism ... but, as you know, even without a drape, there's usually little to no exposure.

Some might say Well if it was just occaional criticism, how is it harmful? And it obviously didn't stop me -- but for a new mom who encounters a rude comment or two right at the start, and doesn't have my "balls," it can sometimes be devastating to her resolve to keep breastfeeding. Oh, and the criticism I got -- it mostly came from the conservative church I was in, so mothers in some settings seem more vulnerable than possibly mothers who don't go to church (though I have heard some churches are absolutely wonderful about breastfeeding, so don't want to over-generalize).

About surnames -- a mom in my homeschool group said (and I agree) that adults really shoudln't get offended if kids call them by their first names and they prefer surnames, but should just communicate their preference to the child. In our case, my husband and I would start addressing them by surname too, so as to help our kids remember.

I'm a firm believer in calling people what they want to be called. That's THEIR call. But it's not someone else's "call" to say that a baby can't be fed in the public arena. Of course if it's your house, you can make the call, and the mother has the choice whether to abide by your rules or leave (I would leave and not come back). But public is called "public" because everyone has a right to be there. It's not your (or my) personal property. I might see a tempting pastry, you might see a baby getting fed -- if it's too much for you, just stay home.

Red Biddy


Sorry you didn't "get" my joke about Disraeli.

I was just having fun with Dolores and her questioning about the Megalithic period - trying to point out to her that when one part of the world had a civilization and the capability of building great structures like Solomon's temple another part of the world was still in the stone age !

Disraeli said it best....but he meant it as an insult at the time !

Shalom Aleichem

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