Thursday, November 24, 2005
Sunday, November 20, 2005
It's a year to the date of the now infamous brawl between the Detroit Pistons and the Indiana Pacers. I have to admit that I found the whole thing entertaining. I suspect that it had more to do with the analysts and the commentators than the actual fighting. But it was entertaining, nonetheless. See for yourself: http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2657302?refsite=7063&ns=1
I thought that it was ironic that the league went down so heavily on Ron Artest (one of the key players in this whole thing) by suspending him for the entire season. After all, it was overreaction from Ben Wallace from a foul, coupled by a fan's instigation that caused the conflict to brew in the first place. In my opinion, Artest was, for lack of a better phrase, a "victim of environment".
The expectation with professional, HIGHLY PAID athletes is that certain standards apply to their conduct. To a large extent, I agree. But, let's keep it real here: before they are professionals who make a bunch of $$$, they are humans, first and foremost. If you have people hurling beer at you, shouting obscenities and, worse yet, attacking you, then--chances are-- your first response is "Kick his @#$"; not "Oh well, I'm rich. I've got a standard to uphold."
Money can buy lots of things. But, rest assured, it can't buy civility.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005: A date which will live in Michigan Football infamy.
My beloved Wolverines lost a heartbreaker to the hated rivals from the south, the Ohio State Buckeyes; 25-21. The lost marked the second straight year that the Bucks had their way with us. What better way is there to cap off a disappointing 4-loss season than with a loss against a huge rival in your own backyard?!
Oh well. I hope we have success in the Alamo Bowl. So what if it's not a BCS Bowl. *Please note the sarcasm*
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I've seen this image a thousand times before, but it always seems to strike a chord with me. If you look closely, this collage is a collection of photos of soldiers killed in this senseless Iraqi war that's been going on now for over two years. Manipulated correctly, these images take the shape of the person most responsible for this seemingly indelible situation: your President.
Now, I've always been against this war and its author, Mr. Bush. Whether it was sold to the public by using outright lies and fear tactics or if it was the result of innocent but serious intelligence failures, the fact remains that we are still fighting and dying in Iraq, when it has been made clear that it posed no formidable threat to "our freedom". With no reasonable exit strategy, a lack of clearly defined objectives, and a faceless enemy, this conflict ranks up there with some of the most dangerous and irresponsible blunders in our time. Evidenced by the widespread decline in support of this war (even on the part of conservatives), it seems that I'm not the only one who is in opposition.
I've always been humored by the stories that Bush and his friends used to try and convince the American public . You know. The ones where Saddam had a Death Ray pointed directly at each one of our houses and would strike at any moment. The ones where Cowboy Bush and his desperados were the only ones who could protect us. Isn't it funny how most of the "protective" mechanisms that Bush uses to "fight terrorism" (i.e. pre-emptive war, Patriot Acts, heightened security, etc.) are even more spooky than terrorism itself? Before you answer that one, I dare you to type "how to blow up a building" on Google or to yell "I've got a bomb" at an airport. Go on. I double dog dare you!
But when my humor about this whole situation dies down, I'm reminded of all of the innocent people; Americans, Brits, Iraqis, etc.; whose lives have been forever changed or even destroyed by the destructive agendas of a few old, white men (my apologies to the old white men to whom none of this applies). People who have never been to war, much less picked up a weapon are quick to send someone else's kids, parents, spouses, family, and friends to fight battles that they create with rhetoric. Equally as disturbing is the idea that anyone who shows the slightest bit of protest and dissent against these "Stupid White Men" are then called 'un-American'. Well, if America is a symbol of violence, destruction, greed, world domination, idealogy force-feeding, and hypocrisy, then I guess I'm guilty as charged.
I can only pray that the God that Bush claims to love and defend so much will bless his heart with a spirit of love and submission to truth before more innocent people are added to this collage.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
I just read an interesting article which reminded me of my mounting frustration with "organized" religion. Here's the link. See it for yourself:
Apparently, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) refused to give away truckloads of water to hurricane victims that were donated by Anheuser-Busch simply because they had the company's logo on them. Sure, we're talking about a beer company here. But I don't think that too many people, God included, were all that upset about it. Considering the dilemma, what's more important: the logo on the can or the water inside of the can which provides relief to victims?! I think that this situation underscores a thoroughgoing fallacy from evangelical thinking: the misguided belief that if we associate with "unholiness", then we somehow endorse it. In this case, if we accept water with a beer logo on it, we're endorsing alcholic consumption. How on God's Green Earth can a church of God justify neglecting the needs of many just to avoid "endorsement"?! I'm reminded of the parable that Jesus told where a Samiritan, the "lowest" of all people assisted a beat up man on the side of a road, when priests and church goers all passed him by (probably because they didn't want to associate with him). I think that this is something SBC should have really thought about before completely villifing a beer company interested in helping others.
Looking at groups like SBC, it's no wonder people are turning away from the church and rejecting the Christ that we claim to represent. With all the stuff that we take it upon ourselves to call sin, who care really blame them?! Sometimes I question if the church is a safe haven and a hospital for the 'sick' or if it's an assembly for overly critical, sanctimonious, and condescending "Christians" who hold their piety and self-righteousness over people's head -- without first dealing with their own issues. David Burchett put it best with his book title, "When Bad Christians Happen to Good People". I'll drink to that (even if it is water from a beer company...)!