Friday, October 29, 2004

Did I Read That Correctly?

Today I stumbled across a blog post titled “The Democratic Party Has Turned Into A Cult” from REVJAB. Some of the claims made by the author about the Democratic Party include:

- “An all-out selling of soul to ends-justify-the-means, operationally married to "ethics" only when and if it has some helpful persuasive PR effect.”
- “Blind, amoral devotion to a leader that completely disregards and/or excuses the sexual, financial, and ethical evils of the leader(s).”

After you read the above mentioned article, check out what Religious says about cults. It’s a good explanation, and a very unbiased explanation.

I guess now I am a member of this Democratic Party Cult right? I’ve been involved in Democratic politics for a while, and I have many friends and family who are Democrats, and I just have never seen much of the “Cultish” ways of the Party. If you read what Religious Tolerance has to say, you will find out that typically a “cult” has a charismatic and authoritarian leader. For those of you who know the Democratic party, you are chuckling right now because rarely are the Democrats unified. I sometimes feel that they are more unified against George W. Bush than for John Kerry. And charismatic? I like Kerry, but he is not the most charismatic person in the world.

As for the two quotes from the REVJAB post I have mentioned above, I know there are some people in the Democratic Party that are all about selling out and using “ethics” to get something, but heck the Republicans have their fair share of this. George W’s good buddy Ken Lay at Enron sold out his employees. Former Speaker Newt “Contract with America” Gingrich sold out his first wife when she was sick with cancer, and sold out his second wife to get with a staffer. If I remember correctly the “Contract for America” was all about values right? The point I want to make here is that both Parties sell out and will continue to sell out. Both will use “ethics” to gain votes. Does this make either Party a cult? No.

This blind amoral devotion the author talks about is also laughable. I don’t have a blind amoral devotion to any politician or any other person for that matter. None of the Democrats I know of have it either. Although I do know a good number of Republicans who believe George W. Bush has no flaws, if that counts. So far I am not seeing a connection between the Democratic Party and cults.

I think what may be hard for the author to handle is that the Democrats do a better job at being tolerant. As far as I can tell, the Democratic Party has never declared themselves as the only righteous political party. Political parties are not meant to be Churches, they are not meant to be religions. Some parties may be more accepting of differences, others may not. I’d say that the Democrats accepting non-Christians into their ranks is very non-cultish. Cults are supposed to be authoritarian and oppressive, allowing people with different beliefs into the group and letting them keep their beliefs is definitely not oppressive and authoritarian.

Maybe I am blinded by my devotion to some politician. However, I cannot figure out who I am blindly devoted to. There is no candidate running who I like 100%. Heck, no candidate running that I like 80%, except for Cobb running for the Green Party, maybe.

Maybe I am selling out. I am not sure to whom I am selling out and they are not giving me anything in return.

If anyone really believes the Democratic Party is a cult, please let me know.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I am one of the many, but I am very excited that the Bosox won the World Series! I happen to live in Cardinal Country, but I am glad to see the Sox win it.

And who knows, just maybe its a sign...seing how the team from Boston wins the series in Busch (read Bush) Stadium. Hehe...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Finding a niche

I know I’ve written frequently about finding a niche. I have always struggled with finding a niche. It has never been an immediate thing. I do not think it is because I difficult to get a long with, nor do I think it has anything to do with me having too high of expectations for other people. But then I do not know if has to do with me being somewhat shy by nature. Ever since moving to Arkansas, it has been difficult for me to connect with some people. Maybe that is typical, I am not sure.

In the office I work in now, I also feel somewhat disconnected. I know I’ve only been here for a couple months, but I just feel “out there” with my office. I cannot identify the reason for this. Although I wish I could. Maybe it is my work ethic. I know I’ve been cursed with a strong work ethic, but surely that is not the case. Maybe I am reading too much into the people in my office, but I cannot know for sure. But seriously, finding a niche, or just feeling connected is not an easy task. Thankfully I do have people here with whom I feel very connected.

Although the running joke with the folks I do connect with here is that the reason we all feel so out there is that we have more of a “Western” or “hippie” attitude towards life. I think there is some truth to that. My experiences in the Mid-South and with Southerners is that many are not nearly as open as the people in the “west” (not necessarily West Coast, but from the Western boarder of Texas and up to the Pacific Ocean).

Monday, October 18, 2004

Faith, Hope and War

Right now I am sitting at my computer slowly bobbing my head back and forth barely awake enough to compose a few meaningful sentences. However, after each miniscule snooze I am awoken to a few good thoughts…or at least a few relatively coherent thoughts. In this almost dream like state, my thoughts are only concerned with my neglected homework, the fate of the Boston Red Sox and the many titles of books I’ve seen the past two days during my trips to various bookstores.

I could write about my homework, but it would make more sense to do it. I could write about the Red Sox, but then I’d be using too many curse words in reference to the NY Yankees. But heck, at least the Sox won tonight. Now when it comes to the book titles, a few of them getting me very heated. Those books are the ones that emphasis the faith of President GW Bush.

I cannot and will not ever judge someone else’s faith because I can never know what lies in someone’s heart. Along with this, I really do not believe it is anyone else’s job to judge the faith of others. However, I think when a candidate for public office uses their faith in order to get people to vote for them, I think that their actions (not their faith) are fair game for discussion. President Bush in particular even talked about his acting on faith during the last debate. First, I’ve said it once and I’ve said it a thousand times on this blog, Jesus told us that the most important commandments are to love God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Now, it is my understanding that as a Christian one is supposed to follow Christ first by following His actions and His words. Second, it is also my understanding that love is unconditional and is not to be applied on the basis of another’s ethnicity, religion, sex, etc. Third, when Jesus talks about neighbors He did not just mean Mr. and Mrs. Schmelter next door, He actually meant our neighbors in the human race. Now assuming these three beliefs are correct, I can see that GW Bush has not followed these commandments as President (or Governor) for that matter. As Governor of Texas he put to death dozens of criminals. If you love the criminal as yourself, do you put them to death? As President GW Bush (or his campaign, which he would be in charge of) has attacked both Sen. John McCain and for Sen. Max Cleland (both wounded in Vietnam, a war which Bush did not fight in) for their Patriotism. Is this loving your neighbor?

John Kerry is not a savior. But he has not told the American people that he loves his neighbors as himself, when he obviously has not done so.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Randomness to the max

Okay, well not really.

First, the Arkansan word of the day is Wal-Martians. Wal-Martians are those individuals who are affiliated with the corporate side of the largest retail corporation in the world. Because the University has such good relations with said company and the world headquarters is only 20 or so miles north of here, we have the pleasure of hosting Wal-Martians many times each year. When I heard that word today I chuckled and realized how fitting it was.

Second, last night Jenn and I finally watched Saved! the "controversial" movie about a Christian High School and the drama therein. The movie was very funny, very satirical and touched on a few good points. It illustrated some of the problems that many people see with "fundamentalist Christians". Mandy Moore plays a young woman who is more obsessed with the role of a Christian than the actual teachings of Christ. At one point in the movie when Jena Malone's character questions Moore's character about love, Moore's character throws a Bible at Malone and yells "I am filled with Christ Love". That summed up a lot for me in that one scene.
I recommend this movie, but be aware that it is very satirical and there are no punches pulled when it comes to discussing "fundamentalist Christianity" or at least a perception thereof.

Monday, October 04, 2004


From Wired News: SpaceShipeOne wins X Prize.

I've always hoped that in my lifetime there would be some sort of Space Travel. I don't think we will have anything like the movies, but this is one step in that direction.

I hope the other people that were also attempting to win the X Prize keep on trying.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Great Debate

I am going to admit it, here and now. I am a Flip Flopper. That is right. I have changed my mind before...I hate to admit it. I really do. There have been so many times in my life that I have made a wrong choice and after some time I realized it was the wrong thing to do or the wrong way to go. *Gasp* at these times I flip-flopped, I attempted to correct my mistake.

The Republicans have done an amazing job at painting John Kerry as a flip-flopper when it comes to Iraq. Well, in many ways he is. He was presented with information from the current administration. At that time he believed the information to be correct. Based on that information he made a choice. A choice to support the military efforts against Iraq. Later, after he made that choice he found out that the information upon which he based his choice was incorrect. At that point he decided to change his belief and work against what he previously had supported. Is this wrong? That is for you to decide. However, I'd much rather have a President who recognizes mistakes and changes his/her ways because of those mistakes. It would also be wonderful to have a President who will admit that he/she made mistakes. I don't know if we will get one of those for a while, but I'd rather have that then a President who covers up his mistakes and asks his opponents to not discuss them.

After watching the debate last night, if I had not known better and was to believe everything President Bush said, I would have to believe that Saddam himself flew each of the four hijacked planes on 9/11/2001. I would have to believe that it was Saddam who was the mastermind. Heck, I don't think I heard Bush mention Bin Laden except when he talked about his "ties" to Iraq.