The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Search Results

The irony of the “empathy” hearings

with one comment

From the party of George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Antonin Scalia:

Lectures on the peril of emotional reasoning

Maureen Dowd writes:
clipped from www.nytimes.com
Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. … it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational
W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.
Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.
Republican Lindsey Graham read Sotomayor some anonymous comments made by lawyers about her, complaining that she was “temperamental,” “nasty,” “a bit of a bully.” Then he patronizingly lectured her about how this was the moment for “self-reflection.” Maybe Graham thinks Nino Scalia has those traits covered.
blog it

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Palm Sunday Rebellion

with 9 comments

Here’s the last half of my Palm Sunday sermon.  In the opening, I talked about how obvious it must have seemed to Jesus’ Palm Sunday followers that he was beginning a military coup.  Find out why at Disclosing New Worlds.


Sagrada Familia #6
Image by Alex Millà via Flickr

There’s no question in their minds that Jesus is there to conquer. And Jesus has intentionally played the part. He knows the local puppet governor will hear. He knows the Roman military machine will hear. And he knows he’s throwing rebellion in their faces.

How will tyrants respond? Think of shouts of “Free Tibet!” in Lhasa.  Or the student uprising in Tienanmen Square. Or singing the Chechen national anthem in public in Chechnya. Peasants pitching rebellion are crushed without mercy.

Extra troops were in Jerusalem during the Passover, in preparation for this very kind of thing. Passover, after all, was about the liberation of the Jews from a foreign government. The Romans would be putting on a show of force.

He’s come to wage war, all right – but no one is understanding what kind of war he’ll fight. The Romans are small potatoes to him – he’s waging war on death and darkness and power, and he’ll defeat them all.

But the crowd’s expecting literal war. And that’s not what Jesus does.

Hosanna filio David
Image by Lawrence OP
via Flickr

How strange it is that everybody there makes that mistake, and we study it, and wonder how they can have missed it. And then our generation reads Revelation’s war-talk and assumes without question that Jesus’ will return in the future to fight a violent war. As McLaren observes, when Jesus comes back to fight, his mighty sword comes out of his mouth! I want to smack my head. How could I have overlooked the obviously metaphorical language used there?

Could we still be like the 1st century crowd, expecting Jesus to bring war? Could we be making the same mistake?  Doesn’t it matter that warfare is completely inconsistent with everything Jesus demonstrated?

But here’s another strange thing: It’s all outside the city.

See the last verse? He goes to the temple, looks around, heads for Bethany. Once inside the city, the acclaim is gone.

Outside of it, the crowds adore him. Inside of it – in the seat of religious power and government power – nobody shows up. As Lawrence Moore writes at Disclosing New Worlds: Read the rest of this entry »

Do coercive interrogation methods work?

with 6 comments

Ask counter-terrorism experts –
clipped from www.iamprogress.org

"Who Would Jesus Torture?" Sign At The Interna...

Image by takomabibelot via Flickr

Quote of the Day

Their conclusion is unanimous: not only have coercive methods failed to generate significant and actionable intelligence, they have also caused the squandering of resources on a massive scale through false leads, chimerical plots, and unnecessary safety alerts.

– — Vanity Fair December 2008, talking to top counterterrorism officials

blog it


Tags: , , , , , , , , , Monte Asbury

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Written by Monte

February 1, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Kidnap, Torture, and … Oh, not that one …

leave a comment »

Maher ArarThen there’s the case of Maher Arar.

First, you need to know that since this happened, Arar, a Canadian citizen, has been exonerated and awarded (if I remember correctly) $9 million in damages by the Canadian government.

Now Arar (reported by Amy Goodman in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer):

… was returning to Canada from a family vacation, with a plane change at New York’s JFK Airport. There he was pulled aside, searched, questioned and imprisoned. Two weeks later, U.S. authorities sent Arar to Syria.

Arar spent the next 10 months enduring brutal beatings and psychological torture … Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

January 31, 2007 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Iraq, Politics, Terrorism

Andy Griffith and Frodo’s ring

leave a comment »

Here’s a pithy lesson for the times from Mr. Old-Time Values himself. It’s about a minute in length.

Andy Griffith vs. Patriot Act

Tempting, isn’t it, to resist terrorism at the cost of human rights?

It’s like putting on Frodo’s ring: Seems the reasonable thing to do – even the only means of escape – but it leaves us changed. We become infected by the evil we previously resisted.

Gollum!

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Written by Monte

January 20, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Iraq, Politics, Terrorism