Sunday, December 30

I love birth stories. So maybe this is the show for me:

The new special World Birth Day is the purest of drama, drawing on the real-life miracle of life.

The two-hour special, premiering at 9 p.m. Tuesday on TLC, took one calendar day -- July 5, 2001 -- and tracked 11 different families as they welcomed a new child into the world.

Those families were in nine countries -- the United States, Ethiopia, Germany, India, China, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil and England -- and from varying economic backgrounds. That lets the show examine cultural, religious and political attitudes toward childbirth as well as presenting the personal stories of the different families.

Christopher Hitchens on why the Left can't bring itself to condemn the 9/11 attacks or give any sort of support to the current war effort:

In other words, all the learned and conscientious objections, as well as all the silly or sinister ones, boil down to this: Nothing will make us fight against an evil if that fight forces us to go to the same corner as our own government. (The words "our own" should of course be appropriately ironized, with the necessary quotation marks.) To do so would be a betrayal of the Cherokees.

Here's the piece.

Bishop Spong strikes again. Thank goodness he's Episcopalian.

Ah yes - what the good bishop has written this time is a piece in Beliefnet entitled "The Theistic God is dead. In the piece, Spong ruminates on the necessary questions raised by the attacks of September 11, and emerges with totally unoriginal answers that fail twice: because they're unoriginal, bland and owe everything to Paul Tillich, and secondly, because they raise more questions than they answer:

God is not an external, supernatural entity, ruling the world from above the sky. God is rather the Source of Life, the Source of Love, the Ground of Being. It is a non-theistic definition. Life has taught us that theism is dead. There is no supernatural God directing the affairs of history. Atheism, however, is not the only other viable conclusion. Supernatural theism is nothing but a human definition of God. We need not despair when our human definitions of God die. We use that death to force open our eyes to new possibilities, to see God as the wind that animates humanity; as the love that expands humanity, and as the rock that is the ground of humanity's being.

One has to wonder if Spong has read any post-Holocaust Jewish theological reflection - he writes as though September 11 were the most profound challenge to theism ever grown by human beings. It's not. The attempted obliteration of God's Chosen People trumps it by a mile, in my opinion, and Jewish theologians have spent decades meditating on the problem, with various answers, not all, I hasten to assure Bishop Spong, affirming that "Theism is dead."

Not that this is my concern right now, but I thought this was an interesting product: a software program to assist women in detecting fertile days in their cycle. (I'm sending you to a cached version of the story since I don't know how long the original URL will be active)
A beautiful little meditation on the sadness edging Christmas from across the sea in Aberdeen, to be exact. It's worth printing out and saving for a day and a year you might need it.
Just added a couple of new photos Go here for that.
The leader of a Christian church has been sentenced to death in China. The story is here. This event follows closely upon the heals of President Bush granting permanent normal trade status to China, ending the yearly battle that brought China's human rights abuses to the public, at least for a few days. This is disappointing, to say the least, but I suppose the battle was really lost when Beijing got the Olympics.
Excellent piece by Mark Steyn, as usual. This one's on the uselessness of the present airport security measures, a point with which I'm in full agreement after watching the security lines at our Fort Wayne airport twice this week: watching random shoe searches, watching middle-aged women being told to take off their belts and put them through the x-ray machine, and seeing none of what Steyn says is, indeed the missing ingredient in all of this: judgment.
I like Ebay a lot, but you've got to be careful. Apparently, one purported seller was running auctions for Playstation2's, but not really. The description of the item said, "You are bidding on the Sony PlayStation II Xmas bundle picture below," so what about 75 buyers got after they won auctions was just that - a photo of a Sony PlayStation. Here's the story.

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