Saturday, 13 September 2008

weekend opinions

Roderick Strange writes in The Times that We must strive to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

In the Telegraph George Pitcher writes that United Jews put divided Christians to shame.

In the Guardian Simon Rocker writes about A mistake by Michelangelo in Face to Faith.

Earlier in the week, Riazat Butt wrote from Rome on Comment is free about The hard route to Heaven.

And Stephen Bates wrote Sarah Palin talks the God talk.

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times When do bankers believe in socialism?

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 8:52am BST | TrackBack
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"It is well to remember that the meaning of a text is not necessarily set in stone and scope remains for reinterpretation."--Simon Rocker

Would that the GAFCONites and their followers would remember this.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 12:09pm BST

Only some of the Jewish groups are signing towards pluralism and not just recognising diversity, and they are already separated. The more interesting reality is that Judaism had its modern reformation, and then even the big group in its Chief Rabbi speaks of dignity in difference. Christians probably have to undergo all kinds of structural changes before they learn the importance of difference rather than uniformity.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 1:24pm BST

It's not about bankers and their own socialism. It is about liquidity. What we are experiencing now is 1929, but after Keynes the authorities are desperate to keep throwing liquidity into the system. The credit that has been running these economies in the past years ended up as excess values in housing, and mad private and public debt dashing around a system, and all have been living beyond productive means.

Now the system is flushing itself out, and if it did so quickly it would involve a rapid and massive loss of liquidity with a transitional effect on the productive economy.

Politicians are actually scared: Bush just handed out money to people to carry on spending: essentially authorities are using their inability to go bust as a basis for inventing money.

The longer term solution is to stop using property as a measure of wealth and a means of so called growth when all it has been is a measure of living beyond actually productivity. What is needed is bringing all the housing stock up to good condition, with plenty of social housing, much that is rented, and to have a stronger savings culture. Only the production and distribution of goods and services means wealth, not consumerism.

Posted by: Pluralist on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 1:36pm BST

Sarah Palin may inject God into everything, but curiously, in her interview with Charles Gibson on ABC News the other night she said something that sounded very odd to me.
Asked about accepting the offer of the VP spot on the ticket, she indicated that she said yes immediately. She said something to the effect that one must not blink, when presented with certain situations.
She's one of the few people of evangelical bent I know of that has not first prayed about such a momentous decision.
Makes me wonder...

Posted by: Deacon Charlie Perrin on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 6:35pm BST

“The longer term solution is to stop using property as a measure of wealth and a means of so called growth when all it has been is a measure of living beyond actually productivity. What is needed is bringing all the housing stock up to good condition, with plenty of social housing, much that is rented, and to have a stronger savings culture. Only the production and distribution of goods and services means wealth, not consumerism.” Pluralist

Well, you are probably right, but the American savings rate is very low for a reason. People cannot afford to save. Working people here in the US have had their incomes reduced over the past 30 years. (and over the past 10 years they have been joined by many from the middle class). Even when two people work, it’s difficult to raise a family when the typical rent for a two-bedroom apartment in my neighborhood is over $2,000 a month. Nearly 50 million Americans don’t have any heath insurance. And those of us who do could have what little savings wiped out by a serious illness. And more and more working and lower middle class folks can forget university. I was graduated from an elite, northeastern liberal arts college in the early 1970s. Even then, such an education was expensive. Now, for four years, it’s over $160,000. And once you have graduated with all the bills and loans, the capitalist pigs expect you to be satisfied making $22,000 a year, or whatever!

Posted by: Kurt on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 6:58pm BST

From Bates, to Butt, to Rocker: what a great paper the Guardian is. Kudos!

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 13 September 2008 at 8:14pm BST

Kurt, we in Canada get occasional glimpses of the huge differences between our two countries. The movie Sicko was a case in point. Honestly, I was only ever peripherally aware of the impact on individuals and their attitudes. We don't really understand how devestating injury or illness can be in the US, until we cross the border with no insurance, and then it comes as a complete shock. We are amused that Americans react with disbelief when we tell them we had surgery or something and didn't pay a cent. It's kind of funny how they can't grasp that there isn't some sort of "deductable" or something. We MUST have paid something, surely. And then there' the belief many have, fed by Republican lies, that we can't choose our own doctors.

I saw an American girl in ER once and got wind that her mother was worried about the bill. I went to talk to her and asked her how much she expected to pay. She figured 800-1,000 dollars. My association had a schedule of fees for uninsured services, and the fee for what I had done was $32.50. She nearly fainted, couldn't believe it, needed to be told three times! Yet conservatives in the US defend this system, and conservative Evangelical Christians constitute a big part of their power base. For them, universal access to health care is an evil librull plot to undermine the Gospel principles of Merka. So what I do with my dirty bits is a moral issue but making people choose between health care and homelessness isn't? Gee, THAT'S a good example of Christianity!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Sunday, 14 September 2008 at 4:27pm BST

Now Ford, you know that what you guys have up there north of the border is "Socialistic Medicine", don't you? That bail out of those banks, well now, that's something completely different!

And the Republican Veep candidate? Didn't I say something to somebody on this site about the inherent deep dangers of the rise of fundamentalism?

Denial isn't the river that separates New York from Ontario. And that giant sucking just south of Niagara isn't the falls.

Stephen Bates is right on the money, and I certainly wish we could have a newspaper like the Guardian in the U.S., that is, before the next Republican administration censors it.

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Monday, 15 September 2008 at 9:41pm BST

"Didn't I say something to somebody on this site about the inherent deep dangers of the rise of fundamentalism?"

The same thing is happening here. We have a conservative party with a vote base that contains a large number of fundamentalist Christians. I remember Canadian elections as dull affairs, meant only to fuel some people's conversations over their third or fourth pint. The last election was the first time I have ever felt genuine fear as to the outcome, but at least I had the hope that enough Canadians mistrusted the conservatives as much as I did, and Harper'd get a minority, which is what happened. Now, though, there's the suggestion that he might get a majority, and I am very uneasy about what's going to happen. I guess that's how his fundamentalist supporters out West felt for over a decade of liberal misgovernment.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 19 September 2008 at 1:13pm BST

Thing is, Ford, the principle opposition in Canada really doesn't oppose anything the present government does. Hence dodghing out of Parliament and hiding in the john every time anything came to a vote.

The Liberal Party talks a good line. During the campaign, they always sound like New Democrats. But they consistently govern like Conservatives.

I refer you to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxGyPTndqms

Our American friends may recognize the star of FoxTV's 24. And they will learn something quite surprising about him.

Now I apologize for the thread drift.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 6:19am BST

"The Liberal Party talks a good line. During the campaign, they always sound like New Democrats. But they consistently govern like Conservatives."

Ah, Canadian politics:
Liberals who are just left of centre and woefully corrupt, Conservatives who used to be just right of centre, now are somewhere next to Hitler, and who are as corrupt as the Liberals but think they are hiding it, socialists who are bit to the left of the Liberals and who would faint if they ever came anywhere close to power, and Greens who chose as their leader someone who took an active role in the dissemination of a campaign of slander, lies, and propaganda used to vilify the citizens of two provinces! Just makes you wanna run out and mark your 'x', don't it?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 20 September 2008 at 10:05pm BST
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