Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Ukraine: Puti-Poot Cites Exit Polls

"It's true I congratulated a candidate, but not according to the official results -- according to projections from exit polls," Putin said.

More intelligent than either Atrios or Daily Kos, Max is still speaking. But never fear (fear!) because Homeland Security is hear to indoctrinate your kids:
"We don't think this will be any different than anything else parents have been asked to do for a long, long time," Ridge said. "This is only a difficult subject if the parents make it a difficult subject."

The new campaign is part of a government effort to get families to plan for emergencies. In one ad, three siblings ask whether they should go to a neighbor's house and how to keep in touch if the phones are out.

An adult voiceover says: "There's no reason not to have a plan in case of a terrorist attack. And some extremely good reasons why you should." It refers parents to www.ready.gov for information.(via)

One might reasonably object that the language of the add is severely misleading; "we" are, after all, not at war with terrorists but with terra itself. Things are only going to get worse. In fact, the Cunt administration is counting on it. If things get better, they lose the "justification" for their extreme and radical agenda. But apologies for belaboring the obvious.

More worthy of attention, Dialogic points to an intriguing journal called, Killing the Buddha. An article therein particularly noted :
A vociferous congregant or a member of the church's "prayer team" bellowed "yes" after Ssempa made each point. All the while, live musical accompaniment and the "prayer team" singers successfully encouraged the congregants to throw in praises and claps of their own.

My favorite number, in Luganda, featured alternating sections of slow burn and intense fury that brought the crowd to its feet and had them dancing in the aisles. It boasted a chorus of "Hallelujah, amen, They will ask where the savedees got to after they're gone…"

No one required the punchline to that prayer, but Ssempa delivered it anyway, to take his flock higher: "Jesus, you are everything that we love. May we never lose you. May we never forget you. May we always raise you up," he preached. "You are the reason for our existence. You created the heavens and the earth. We exist to worship you, O God. We were created to love you. We were created to magnify you."

Lately he’s been magnifying others as well. When Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ made its way to Uganda earlier this year, Ssempa called on friends and associates to give him enough bankroll so that he could hand out free tickets to the movie to tastemakers and the media.

In a city where a movie costs about $5 and a good monthly salary reaches about $500, Ssempa enabled thousands of non-skeptical moviegoers to absorb the largest passion play the world has ever known. In fact, The Passion shattered box-office records in Kampala by selling out for three consecutive weeks, which probably wouldn't have happened without the pastor's zealous promotion.

"Why would I want people to watch it? It's my business. It's my business as an evangelist and a preacher of Jesus Christ to let people know, 'Hey, this is Jesus. Make an informed decision,'" Ssempa told me at his base of evangelical operations, the White House, a drop-in ministry center. "They do not know who he is, what he did, how he did it, the pain he went through. They make a decision to reject Christ ignorantly. Mel Gibson gave us good information through a multimedia presentation. Thank God, we live in the day and age of pictures and cinema to show this."

Ok, maybe this article is a bit more interesting:
Agnosticism, then, is in its origins the edited atheism of a fastidious mind. It is a slim concept, a sort of supplement. What has lately begun to happen, however, is that other, less fastidious minds have begun to grant it a more robust, more relevant sense. It is not unreasonable to assume, on the one hand, that a point of true compromise between faith and atheism cannot be found. Tolerance and ecumenism may gesture toward such a point. And yet their influence, in the end, may serve only to underscore the difference: that one either is or is not a person of faith.

Suppose, though, that such a compromise, a balsam for our partisan scars, were possible. Suppose the discovery of the tertium quid, the third spiritual thing. Agnosticism has been dislodged and its meaning lifted into flux. The forces behind this shift may derive from the need, felt dimly by those on either side, for something like a genuine middle ground. Where Huxley was circumspect, the New Agnosticism offers a generous welcome. It is ecumenism drawn out almost to the vanishing point. Any tradition, any myth, perhaps even a persistent sense of gratitude, will do. Can this be the properly modern form of faith?

-"The New Agnosticism" by Ben Rutter

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