Reading the Times 2.11.07. Ted Haggard. Oregon Ranchers. Propane Pastor to Homeless. McQuaid’s “EverQuest.”

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A Paul Simon lyric announces, “I can gather all the news I need on the weather report.” Give me a good newspaper–let me read broadly and deeply in it and I’ll fund sufficient food for thought for each given day.

¢â‚¬¢ Ted Haggard’s announcement that after three weeks of counseling he is completely heterosexual had me and the wife rolling our eyes about the cluelessness of the man who was just a few months ago the face of evangelicalism to the world. Always feather-lite, his apologetic against homosexuality was always framed in an uninformed, untested vacuum. Even the President of Exodus International “reformed-gay” movement said the statement does not pass the laugh test. Theological presupposition unlinked from contemporary science is dangerous but understandable as articulated brilliantly by Dr. Jack Drescher, a New York psychiatrist who is an expert on issues of gender and sexuality. “Drescher said that while it was people’s prerogative to identify their sexual orientation as they wanted, the notion of being able to change that orientation was “not consistent with clinical presentations, but totally consistent with theological belief.” “Some people in the community that Mr. Haggard comes from believe homosexuality is a form of behavior, a sinful form of behavior based on certain things in the Bible, and they don’t believe you can create a healthy identity based on sinful behavior,” Dr. Drescher said. ‘So they define it as a behavior that can be changed, and there is this thinking that if you control those behaviors enough, heterosexual attractions will follow.'”

¢â‚¬¢ The Bible rings true because it chronicles human nature & behavior honestly. In a real story in Eastern Oregon
out of “wild west lore,” two men lost their lives in a dispute and shoot out over four cows. The story reads like Old Testament skirmishes or Jacob trying to raid Laban’s herd.

¢â‚¬¢ Today people complain religion is the source of most human conflicts that Christians are all talk and That religion often appeals to our better angels and humanizes us is lost in the polemic and rhetoric. Rev. Steven Brigham raises ($) 2000 a month for propane tanks, then delivers them to homeless people living along the Garden State Parkway. Jesus talked a lot about the poor and he did something about it. Go Steve. 11homeless.xlarge1.jpg

¢â‚¬¢ Can popular media be aesthetically intelligent. MYST proved it could and now Brad McQuaid wants to prove the same with EverQuest. If humans possess capacity for thoughtful, aesthetically rich content, shouldn’t this satisfy us more than bad, cut and paste animation?

¢â‚¬¢ Statistics often lead to changes in public perception and eventually policy, so we should always probe to determine the accuracy of stats. Recently the NYT and others announced that “for the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one.” Sounds stunning until you find out the research counted 15-17 year-olds, 90% of whom live with their parents. Read the story behind the story and open your eyes.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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