The Least, First

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Archive for April 2008

Priest stands up to reporter on Jeremiah Wright

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Speaking of Jeremiah Wright (as I was in the previous post), Homeyra and 99 (whose post is called I’m stoked about Father Michael Pfleger) tipped me off to this remarkable video interchange between a white priest— a friend of Rev. Wright—and a Fox News reporter.

Father Pfleger firmly but gently rebukes the oversimplifications and corrects the errors, point by point, though apparently taken by surprise. It is simply excellent, and he represents Jesus admirably. Much good here!

[Update: I posted this clip at my Clipmarks page, too, and Dulios, a clipper whom I admire, left this comment: Father Pfleger is a hero to those of us in Chicago who fight for social and economic justice. He deserves a wider audience! Isn’t it great what you can learn from friends on the web?]

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Written by Monte

April 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Jeremiah Wright on Bill Moyers Friday, April 25

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Now here’s television serving the public: Bill Moyers will interview Rev. Jeremiah Wright, long-time pastor of Barack Obama, on April 25. What a marvelous chance to hear Wright tell his own story, rather than hearing it sliced and diced by sound-biters.

clipped from

Jeremiah Wright to be interviewed by Bill Moyers

In what will be his first interview since snippets of his preaching became a central issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. will speak publicly to veteran journalist and fellow UCC member Bill Moyers.

The interview will be broadcast on Friday evening, April 25, on Bill Moyers Journal, a PBS news series that airs nationally. Check local listings at

Wright retired in March after 36 years as senior pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity UCC in Chicago, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has been a member for more than 20 years. Trinity UCC is the largest congregation among the UCC’s 5,700 churches. […]

Following his appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, Wright is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP Detroit Branch on Sunday, April 27. He is also slated to speak on Monday, April 28, to a breakfast gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

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Join me, screen-side!

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Written by Monte

April 19, 2008 at 12:46 am

You know the Voice [sermon for April 13, 2008]

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His Masters VoiceFourth Sunday of Easter

April 13, 2008—Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10

Let’s say you breed beautiful, valuable hunting dogs. You have new puppies. You keep them in your fenced yard.

One afternoon, you come home early, walk into the house, look out the kitchen window. You’re watch the puppies play – when a stranger pops his head up beyond the fence, looks around, throws one leg over, and rolls over into the yard. Read the rest of this entry »

I am the road (readings for April 20, 2008)

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Fifth Sunday of Easter
April 20, 2008
Acts 7:55-60 Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 1 Peter 2:2-10 John 14:1-14

John 14:1-14
The Road
“Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. roadIf that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”

Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 16, 2008 at 11:04 pm

Frontline’s “Sick Around the World” is now on the web

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UPDATE: With a hat tip to GiannaKali, I discover that this outstanding investigative piece is entirely available for free on the web here. What I saw last night on PBS was just excellent. Full of memorable quotes and comparisons, the contrasts among five nations’ systems is, perhaps, the most informative discussion of health care possibilities I’ve ever seen. All five cost less and deliver more than what we’re used to in the USA, and all five happen in capitalist democracies, with varying degrees of government participation. Valuable!

We in the USA have heard much ballyhoo (mostly bad) about the healthcare systems of other countries. Here’s a chance to learn about what they’re really doing, good and bad. I’m hoping this will bring some light to our own national health care conversation. The trailer is just below.


FRONTLINE TRAVELS … to find out how five other capitalist democracies–United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland–deliver health care and what the United States might learn from their successes and their failures. … Reid turns up remarkable differences in how these countries handle health care–from Japan, where a night in a hospital can cost as little as $10, to Switzerland, where the president of the country tells Reid it would be a “huge scandal” if someone were to go bankrupt from medical bills.

Reid’s first stop is the U.K.- Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 14, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Posted in Politics

Is Jeremiah Wright mostly right?

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Jeremiah WrightDamn you rich! You already have your compensation.
Damn you who are well-fed! You will know hunger.
Damn you who laugh now! You will weep and grieve.
Damn you when everybody speaks well of you!

A rant from a radical preacher? Without a doubt. … That’s the Scholars Translation of Luke 6:24-26, and the speaker is Jesus of Nazareth. …

And it’s strikingly similar to:

God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human.
God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

That’s Jeremiah Wright.

And he’s got a point. I’m quoting here from a post on Daily Kos by the blogger known (appropriately, some will say) as Devilstower. He throws down the gauntlet about the Wright words, especially to we who preach.

Consider: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

The world mapped by population

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Check out this astonishing graph from GeoHive:

Size of countries based on population


note: this graph only shows countries with a population over 5 million on July 1, 2002 (est.).
The color indicates the size:
Orange means a country >100 million
Blue means a country between 50 and 100 million
Green a country between 40 and 50 million
Yellow a country between 30 and 40 million
Lavender a country between 20 and 30 million
Pink a country between 10 and 20 million
Grey a country between 5 and 10 million.
note: two-letter code refer to ISO codes of countries.

Things that surprise me:

  • Russia is about the size of Pakistan.
  • Sweden and Finland and Denmark are in the range of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
  • No African nation compares with Nigeria.
  • Brazil towers over S. America.
  • Japan is in the neighborhood of Mexico and Russia and Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Mexico is much larger than Canada.
  • The world is mostly Asian.
  • South Africa doesn’t appear.

What do you see?

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Written by Monte

April 12, 2008 at 11:54 pm

Posted in Politics