Dear Sharron Angle:

Please, read your history. Roger Williams, founder of what has morphed into your professed Baptist faith, said the state has no business legislating the first tablet of the Ten Commandments, those that address man’s relationship with God (Gaustad, 2005). If you don’t like Social Security, that’s fine, and there’s a reasonable conservative economic argument you can make; but don’t try to pin everything on your goals for a Christian theocracy.
Maybe, Mrs. Angle, you don’t consider yourself a Williams Baptist. In fact, I believe I’ve read some pieces that refer you you as Baptist, others Southern Baptist, and still others simply fundamentalist. Fair enough. Maybe you have a divine calling to establish a Church-run State for Jesus. I won’t argue with your experiences. Maybe your brand of Christianity has no problem with the melding of Church and State. But will you please listen to James Madison? “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?” Should Congress assemble in silence according to traditional Quaker practice? Or what if a Catholic wins the presidency? You’d get booted from the Senate, because women can’t hold spiritual authority. See what I’m getting at?
Please, keep up your faith. But remember that you seek to serve a diverse constituency that includes everything from Baha’i to Baptists, everything in between, and many nowhere in between. I will not vote for a theocracy, and I hope my fellow Nevadans won’t either. Grace and peace to you.
References
Gaustad, E.S. (2005). Roger Williams. New York: Oxford University Press.
Madison, J. (1819). Memorial and Remonstrance. Boston: Lincoln & Edmands.

Rauschenbusch

There is the more inducement to teach clearly on the social transmission and perpetuation of sin because the ethical and religious forces can really do something to check and prevent the transmission of sin along social channels, whereas the biological transmission of original sin, except for the possible influence of eugenics, seems to be beyond our influence.

Walter Rauschenbusch, A Theology for the Social Gospel, pp.67, 68

New writing project

I’ve taken up some independent contractor writing with a locals-focused website, Examiner.com.

They bring on writers in all sorts of areas… Health & Fitness, Politics, Economy, Relgion & Spirituality… everything category you’d expect to see in a weekend newspaper. The difference is it’s online and exculsively local.

So, I’m a Las Vegas outdoor recreation examiner. My page is here. Bookmark it, stop by every now and then. Digg it if you’re feeling especially charitiable ;)

Also, if you’re reading this, you’re probably somone whose opinion and feedback I value, so article feedback and suggestions are invited!

March

Made a habit to start using my lunch breaks effectively. Five days a week, I’m making about half an hour of progress through Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. It’s fascinating. To say I think it will change the way I eat is an understatement.

I’m also coming close to finally finishing Willard’s The Divine Conspiracy. His comments on what it means to be a student –a disciple– of Jesus strike a challenging balance between “wow that’s really profound” and “why aren’t I already doing that?”.

Behind on the podcasts, because my earbuds are out of comission. Totally gimpy reason– just missing the little foam cover on one bud. But it won’t stay in while riding my bike without it. And that 30 mins a day to and from work is prime podcast time. So what I’m saying is you still have plenty of time to recommend a new podcast for me to try to work into my rotation. Daily is great, but I’m open to weekly. Writer’s Almanac is daily, and I could supplement it with a weekly for Monday, a different one for Tuesday, another updated on Wednesdays, etc.

Family in town a lot recently. That’s been great. Lots of time spent out at Red Rocks. Pictures here. Dad’s coming at the end of March!

Considering a joint blog-through of a book sometime on the horizon…

Miscellanea

Each morning, riding my bicycle to work takes about 15 minutes. Heading one way, I listen to Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. It’s about 5 minutes, but I really like GK. I could add Lake Wobegon to fill the rest of the ride, I suppose… Anyway, I’m tendering suggestions for a podcast for the return trip. Something in the 15 minute window would be ideal.

I’d like to begin homebrewing sometime. By chance, anyone looking to get rid of a setup?

Anina and I are the proud owners of a 2009 Subaru Outback. Super happy. Pics here.

We have snow in Mt. Charleston, 30 miles away. Nice temperate weather here in the desert valley, and waist-deep snow a super-short drive away… Pics from this weekend.

Should I let Facebook be my Flickr? There’s the 60-pic limit per album, but it seems to be unlimited and free. Picasa and Flickr have great interfaces but I’m just not in a spot to pay for photo storage, given all the free alternatives out there. Thoughts?

evil spam

a post for the sake of posting…

R.I.P “There Are”

Anyone else notice this particular pronoun-verb pairing disappearing from the American vernacular?

In related news:

A book I want to read: