Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Family Ties

This last couple of weeks has been filled with medical stuff in my household. My partner has been recovering from a total knee replacement for almost two months. This is a big deal if nothing goes wrong. Unfortunately for us, she fell and pretty much shredded the ligaments on the inside of the knee.

The good news is the new joint is fine. The bad news - she had to go back to surgery to have the ligaments reconstructed. Now she is home again, but with a long leg brace locked into full extension for a month. That's like having a long leg cast. She had to come home in an ambulance and I'm not sure she can get into either of our cars.

We drive small fuel efficient vehicles, but they aren't designed for people with leg casts. Too bad we are not driving some big SUV fuel hog! I could use one right now. I'm not sure how this little drama is going to work out yet.

But, as for my never ending thoughts on politics, they are in my head; I just have to find time to get them on to the blog. I'll work harder now that everyone in back home.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Islam and the 21st Century

I have been talking via emails with a conservative blogger:

I have enjoyed the discussion via quoted articles and emails re: the Islamic religion. You stated, “No view of religion is ever gone for ever. Islam may not be promising material for modernity; but I'm not prepared to give up on its eventual reconciliation with liberal democracy.”

How I would like if just wishing could make it so. Sadly, all the evidence indicates that Islam remains a paternal religion that flatly states they are the one true religion. While that’s not unlike most religions, the Islamic faith backs it up with these quotes from The Koran:

"Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate." (Sura 9:73)

"Those who reject Faith fight in the cause of Evil. So fight ye against the friends of Satan." (Sura 4:76)

"Fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)." (Sura 9:5)

You simply won’t find a call to hurt those who don’t believe in the Bible anywhere in either the new or Old Testament. I’ve have read Islamic scholars who make the point that later verses abrogate these calls to action. If that were truly so, why do we see such a consistently high level of violence in the name of Islam? Obviously, the teaching to hurt/kill those who do not believe/convert to Islam holds great sway to today.

In any case, I don’t have much confidence that Islam will reconcile with 21st century cultural values any time soon.

I see conservatives working hard to make Islam a "peaceful religion". It's not. I wish that it was, but the sooner we come to accept that those who practice Islam would as soon kill us as look at us if we don't accept Allahah and Islam, the sooner we develop a foreign policy rooted in reality.

Monday, April 03, 2006

What's up in the Republican world?

That's a loaded question in the best of times. Right now, with Bush continuing to tank and the world going to heck in a hand cart, the question is more than a little important.

What are the Republicans/conservatives/evangelical right up to today? I find it interesting that we are hearing less about the evangelical right and more about the Republicans today. For better or worse, Republicans are being viewed as one in the same as the evangelical right. For Democrats this is a good thing. We have long sought to identify Republicans with the evangelical right - for good reasons. It would seem we have finally succeeded.

The question is; can we take this new paradigm and run with it? Can we liberals/Democrats take advantage of the fact that "Republicans" are slipping into the lexicon of dirty word? I certainly hope so...