Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Why I like Tim Tebow

The day after the Broncos lost to the Patriots and ended their winning streak, one of my Facebook friends posted the following on his status update:

“Can we shut up about Tebow now. One of the most overrated a-holes in the NFL.”

I definitely take issue with this post. It clearly shows that my friend in no way understands the Tim Tebow excitement.

First of all, Tim Tebow is not overrated. On the contrary, I have heard almost nothing but criticism for his skills as a quarterback, especially his throwing skills. He, himself, is probably his own harshest critique. What we like about him is that he’s over-achieving.

Secondly, — he’s not an a-hole. I find him to be the complete antithesis of such a character. He has carried himself with far more dignity and class than we’ve become accustomed to expect from professional athletes. So far, I’ve heard of no DUIs, wife-beatings, womanizing, dog fighting, tax evasion, or anything else that cause me to put him into an “a-hole” category.  Instead, we see exemplary sportsmanship, positive personality, humble interviews, and unprecedented determination.

Well, then there’s the Christian thing. I will concede that I’ve always had cognitive dissonance over the role God plays in professional sports. It’s kind of troublesome — while God gives one team a victory, the other gets a defeat, so is it divine intervention? Does prayer or faith really play into it? Or is it really just that one team is better than the other? Furthermore, I would venture to guess that God has much more important endeavors than the outcome of a Bronco game. But that’s just not the point when it comes to Tebow.

The Tebow point is this: He has turned his talents, successes, and celebrity over to Christ. Tebow’s success and subsequent attributions to God inspires all Christians to give God the glory in our lives. I certainly don’t know the guy personally, so I certainly can’t question his true heart. Does he give God the glory because he believes that it will help him win football games? Or does he win football games so he can inspire people to follow Christ? I don’t know. I do know that I’ll take his antics over Randy Moss’s any day.

I was disappointed by the loss to the Patriots, and I hope it doesn’t spoil the momentum, but it’s not going to make me shut up about Tebow. I will shut up about Tebow, however, if he’s unable to display the same quality of character in defeat as he does in victory.

Read Full Post »

Spin-Offs

I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by the concept of the spin-off, primarily in the realm of the TV series.  I remember as a kid trying to name off all the derivations from the show ‘Happy Days’ (which, I later learned, was originally a part of an anthology show called ‘Love, American Style’, which I remember seeing in syndication as a kid).

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The AP is running a story about Californian John Marcotte who is trying to get signatures to support a ballot measure that will ban divorce as a response to a ban on gay marriage.  I find this not only amusing, but exactly what was talked about in the comments to this post from last year.  Marcotte has no aspirations that this measure will ever become anything, but sees it more as a movement to try make voters rethink why they want to ban gay marriage.

“Since California has decided to protect traditional marriage, I think it would be hypocritical of us not to sacrifice some of our own rights to protect traditional marriage even more,” the 38-year-old married father of two said.

If you think marriage needs to be protected then it seems logical that this step would be a natural progression on the gay marriage ban.  But the fact that most people would blanch at this idea, should cause some to reconsider their thinking process on proposition 8 which passed last year.  Surely, many people supported prop 8 for reasons other than “protecting the sanctity of marriage”, but for those that didn’t, this satirical measure should be right up their alley… right?

I’ve never heard a good clarification from a supporter of traditional marriage, as to why making divorce illegal wouldn’t be even more justified than banning gay marriage, so if you have one please let fly.

Read Full Post »

In my lifetime I have been blessed with the opportunity to know or at least to be exposed to various people that have a magic in them that necessitate a portion of my devotion – my heroes.  Among them are people like my father, who taught me the meaning of selflessness, hard work, and patience, my grandfather, who taught me what it truly means to be a servant of God, Sgt Grumbles, who has impacted the way I relate to God, myself, others and to art more than any other single person, and people that I don’t know personally – people like Bob Dylan, John Gardner and Elliott Smith.  Among those people at the top of my list of heroes, Daniel Smith stands out as the most inspiring and influential.

Daniel Smith is truly a unique character.  It’s difficult to be indifferent toward him, that is to say he is a polarizing person.  There’s a quality to his personality and the way he expresses himself that will either turn you on or turn you off, but will never leave you indifferent.  The process and product of his imagination are not something I can easily express in one post.  In 2006 a documentary was released, “Danielson, a Family Movie (or, Make a Joyful Noise Here)” documenting the progress of Daniel Smith’s artistic expression since the  founding of the “Danielson Famile,” a band literally consisting of Daniel and his siblings.  Daniel was an art student at Rutgers and his professors insisted that the visual and performing arts were to be kept in their respective galleries and conservatories.  Daniel wouldn’t have it, and since 1994 he hasn’t had it.  He’s continued to press forward even after fifteen years of mediocre (at best) success.  The sincerity and devotion with which he creates is what captures me most.

I could go on and on about Daniel and the opportunities I’ve had to meet him/see him perform, but I’d rather introduce you to the man.  And if you’ve already been introduced you ought to watch anyway.  This video, which was posted on the Danielson site yesterday, is a great summation of much of what Daniel Smith stands for.  Take a look:

WV Project Series 2009: Danielson from Weathervane Music on Vimeo.

Read Full Post »

Reader Josh pointed me to this gallup poll that shows for the first time since they began polling this question in 1995, that more Americans are pro-life then pro-choice.

gallup poll

You may know from some of my posts that I am fairly libertarian on drugs, same-sex marriage, and some other views. But on abortion my conservative feelings run deep. So I am glad to see this trend changing, but I am highly curious as to what spurned it? I don’t remember this being a huge issue during the election, and certainly right now the focus of our country seems squarely on the economy.

I wonder if media can take some credit? There is certainly a difference between Cider House Rules and Knocked Up. And apparently we have had a 10-year decline in sexually active teens, that is now leveling off. I doubt that there is a religious bent to these changes, but rather some sort of secular-based change in the culture toward some more conservative-type views.

Very interested in your thoughts.

MARK ADDS:

A point I failed to see in the polling shows that this shift against abortion is all coming from the republican/conservative wing.  Appears the chickens are coming home to roost (is that the expression?):

The source of the shift in abortion views is clear in the Gallup Values and Beliefs survey. The percentage of Republicans (including independents who lean Republican) calling themselves “pro-life” rose by 10 points over the past year, from 60% to 70%, while there has been essentially no change in the views of Democrats and Democratic leaners.

Read Full Post »

The Tigers are over .500 (for the time being), all is well…or at least all should be well.  The fact that the Motor City Kitties are number one in the [measly] AL Central and that the Red Wings are in the NHL Western Semifinals are simply not enough to pick up the pieces in Detroit, which has an unemployment rate three times higher than the national average.  I read an article from April 1958 in TIME, which mirrors much of the current situation.  When the nation gets a cold Detroit is the sore throat and runny nose.

Would you like a home for less than $8,000?  Maybe you ought to try Detroit.  And with the recession and resulting unemployment inevitably comes poverty.  And if you decide to buy a home in Detroit, I hope that excessive crime doesn’t bother you…

I guess the point of all of these dreadful bits of information regarding Detroit’s amplified state of recession is to ask this question:  What can be done for Detroit?

Perhaps you, the reader, would respond in one of these ways:

  1. Nothing can be done for Detroit, let her rot.
  2. The best thing that can be done for Detroit is to let the recession run its course and the markets will eventually fix themselves…maybe after several thousand more violent crimes.
  3. The federal government needs to help out Detroit.  More handouts and deficits!

Many more responses can be added to this list, but in general they all lack the ability to solve this problem rapidly or without major repercussions in the long run.  My only proposition is to do what is most human, and what is most human has been demonstrated through God’s will, especially as expressed though Christ.

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”  Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?”  And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”’

Maybe these are some practical resources:

In the meantime, when looking for a sports team that properly reflects the current condition of the City of Detroit, look no further than last season’s record-breaking Lions.

Yes We Can

Read Full Post »

In preparation for Easter Sunday a friend of mine invited me to a gathering of people that intended to prepare for the celebration by focusing on the pain of Good Friday and the emptiness of Holy Saturday as a means to fully appreciate the joy of Sunday.  He sent the invitation through evite and used this image for the invite:

peex

If you are not familiar with this picture, it is known as “Piss Christ” and is a photograph by Andres Serrano.  It is of a crucifix standing in a jar of Serrano’s own urine.  It is an image that caused a bit of an uproar with many Christians as you can imagine.  For my friend however it is an image that leads him to a place of worship.  As he told me (with his permission to use):

I know that many (for obvious reasons) have seen it as sacreligious and offensive, but I’ve never been able to shake the image from my mind whenever I think of the crucifixion and art.  I think that the piece actually captures the fact that cross is the intersection of the holy with the profane, the sacreligious/offensive with the pious.  That’s why personally this piece actually leads me to worship.

I thought this was incredibly interesting.  I personally think the image is nonsense but, being the free-wheeling semi-libertarian that I am, I would cherish free expression and speech over any offense to my religion.  This picture certainly does not lead me to worship, but instead reminds me of two things: 1) The way that we vigorously defend free speech in America is amazing compared to the way many Islamic countries react to even an innocent image of Muhammad, let alone how they would react to Muhammad in urine. 2) That the fact that our government partially funded this piece through the NEA shows how much our government has stepped into territory that is not listed in the constitution.

But I was curious what other people thought.  With Easter coming tomorrow, would this image (knowing now what it is of) illicit rage, indifference, reverence, or anything out of you?  I know this is an unusual post to prepare for Easter Sunday, but we are nothing if not provacative here at CAI.  I wish you a wonderful day tomorrow and hope that you are led to worship our Savior.  Christ is risen.  He is risen indeed.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »