Thursday, November 18, 2004

Jim Wallis writes in the Sojourner Magazine newsletter:

A post-election poll conducted by Zogby International a few days later confirmed that when a list of specific issues was asked, the results were quite different. When asked which "moral issue most influenced your vote," 42% chose war in Iraq while 13% said abortion and 9% said same-sex marriage. The "most urgent moral problem in American culture" resulted in 33% selecting "greed and materialism," 31% "poverty and economic justice," 16% abortion, and 12% same-sex marriage. The "greatest threat to marriage" was identified as "infidelity" by 31%, "rising financial burdens" by 25%, and "same-sex marriage" by 22%. See the full Zogby poll

As always, things are much more nuanced than we are led to believe by the media and those who prefer to parrot sound bites than to think for themselves. What this whole debate is that there are vast numbers of moderate and progressive Christians who are horrified at the things done in the name of our religion, who don't support what's happening in our country and who didn't vote for Bush. And many, many of us live in Red States, but that doesn't define us.

For more on Sojourner's Magazine, check out their website at
OK. I can see how this new little 'pastime' of mine could easily take over my whole life--well, maybe not everthing, but you know what I mean. Yesterday, everytime I thought I would take a minute to post, I thought that first I would just surf 'for a few minutes.' Well, you all know what happened. 'Just one more click.' This is as addictive as a slot machine.

My other problem is now I've started looking at everything as blog fodder. I drive around musing about what witty, insightful or mundane things I should natter on about today. Nothing is sacred. My family and friends would be horrified. (Which is why only a select few know about this little spot of mine. Certainly no one, or almost no one, from my job will ever get the address from me.) The problem is, I toss around so many ideas that I can't settle on anything.

But, my friend came to the rescue with an e-mail she sent me for Very Good Looking Damn Smart Woman Day that included this motto:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arrivingsafely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid insideways, chocolate in one hand, margarita in the other.

I like it, but it probably won't fit on a t-shirt.

Oh, and one final word for today. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all the kind people who commented or e-mailed me your encouraging words about my little blog. I really appreciate you taking the time to do that. I would reply personally to all of you, but I haven't quite figured out how to do that yet. I'm still working on it. So, thanks again.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm so excited. Someone has actually read my blog. Actually, thanks to Blogexposion (, several people have apparently surfed through here--I don't know if they read anything or not. But one person commented. A real live person! Woo hoo! Of course, now I'm all nervous about posting again. What if I let them down? What if they come back and decide I'm just boring? What should I say next? (Is this the blog equivalent of stage fright or just me freaking out?)

Oh well. It's cool to have readers, even if they think I'm boring. I've learned a lot about blogworld since I've been on Blogexplosion--mainly how many truly articulate people there are out there looking for an outlet, even if they just want to natter on about their day to day life. (Of course, this kind of makes sense since people who really struggle with writing will look for a different kind of outlet, duh!) I kind of like just randomly floating around blogworld checking out what's going on with other people. I just hope that blogs don't fade out like the old CB radion fad did. I would miss it. But I'll worry about that later.

Now I have to shut up--for 2 reasons. One is that I'm at work and need to be conscientious and all that. The other is that I still have a paper due for my theology class at 2:30 and I haven't even started yet (unless you count laying awake last night thinking.) So, I guess I had better get going.

BTW, if you have comments or suggestions, or just want to let me know that Blogexplosion sent you here, I would love to hear from you.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Steve Waldman in his On Belief on Beliefnet ("Perverted, God-Hating Frenchies vs. Inbred, Sex-Obsessed Yokels ") makes this statement:

On both sides, discourse now moves swiftly from disagreement into demonizing, from contrast to caricature. The worst motives are always assumed. Both camps have polemicists who win popularity, ratings, and book sales by devising ever more clever ways of ripping the eyelids off their opponents. We all know the visceral satisfactions of hanging out with our home-team blogs and watching the TV or radio stations that fit our worldview. Our politicians and pundits happily supply us with the voodoo dolls and the pins. But we'd be smarter not to use them.I’m not saying the conflicting values aren’t profound and important. But I am saying that if we choose to find the legitimate underpinnings of our ideological opponents' arguments, we can. It may not be as much fun, but it is more patriotic.

I think he's really on to something here. It seems that with more and more individual activity on the Internet and more and more targeting of the public media--radio, television, magazines, etc.--people only hear, much less listen to, folks that already agree with them. They only notice the home team. We have so many communications options these days that we don't have to hear anyone that doesn't already agree with us unless we want to. How can you learn that way? How can a person think? What how can they stretch their thinking or step back from their assumptions if all they expose themselves to only reinforces what they already think? Have we become a nation of cowards, afraid to hear anyone or anything that doesn't agree with us because they might say something worth considering? How sad that so many of us are so afraid or so lazy.

I agree that it's much more fun to go at our opponents with daggers and flame throwers. But at some point we have to listen to other ideas or we really will slip back into the Dark Ages that so many fear. Only this time it won't be because of a lack of education or opportunities, but from a lack of courage.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

I can't believe it's only been a week. It feels like much longer since my last post. So much has happened, but not much that I feel like talking about. The youth group at our church had their annual auction today and as youth director it has consumed most of my life for the last week. It actually went well, only a few hitches, but we really didn't make as much money as we have in the past. That, plus the usual post-event letdown and general fatigue from being up most of the night getting ready has left me a little bummed. Funny how so many big, or at least intense events, leave you with this big letdown afterward. It's like you always have to pay. Maybe that's just the way of life. For every good thing, or big thing, you always have to pay.