Friday, March 1

The Waugh convergence of the word and religion continues with Auberon's son, Evelyn's grandson Alexander, who has written a book about God entitled God. It sounds rather snippy and unenlightening, to be honest:

God’s infinite variety — or absurd contradictions — is playfully revealed by Waugh, who is funny without being cynical. The charm of this book is that Waugh loves God, even though he probably can’t believe in him. What might have been an exercise in cleverness is a deeply felt and genuine exploration.

Here are some questions you probably never asked about God: How does God get around? It appears that God is not omnipresent — He has to walk quite a lot (see The Garden of Eden); otherwise He can travel in a damp cloud or as a pillar of fire, but He likes to be carried — see The Ark of the Covenant. We are told that His throne has wheels on it, which suggests that the angels can push Him up and down.

It even sounds rather ignorant:

The God of the Old Testament is not a God of Love, but, as Waugh points out, God changes according to need, and a desert people in search of an identity needed a war-like vengeful deity, not a icon of forgiveness. It is only the Christian religion that reclaims God as Love —

Read Hosea. Read Psalms. Read gobs of Isaiah. All Old Testament, all brimming with God's love. That easy, and absolutely false dichotemy is so sloppy and infuriating!

Still up, waiting for the baby to wake up. I'm sure it will happen in just a matter of minutes.

We are unexpectantly alone this weekend - Michael, the baby and I. My other two children had to go down to Tennessee to their paternal grandfather's funeral. They'll be back on Sunday.

I'm still in the I - just -finished - a- book semi-stupor. It's similar to what I used to experience as a teacher, at the end of the school year. Still thinking about the old stuff, just out of habit: grading papers and formulating scintillating lessons then, sorting out prayer for teens now. Then, suddenly, you realize - hey - I don't have to think about that anymore. I can think about other things. I can move the pile of books on prayer from my study back to the book-lined basement, then move the pile of books on parables to the fore and start thinking about that. As well as about the slew of articles I have dreamed up over the past couple of weeks, but will probably never have the time to write.

A not-terribly illuminating article about last night's debate on religiously-motivated violence between Andrew Sullivan and Richard John Neuhaus. I'm sure the evening was much more interesting than the article suggests. I hope.
What Would Jesus Surf? Article from Wired on the Vatican's statement on the Internet:

In its two briefs, the church shows a remarkable understanding of the Internet and its many uses. Its generally positive view of the technology is only slightly tempered by its wariness of what it considers misuse and by other areas of concern.

The Church strongly supports "the free exchange of ideas," the document states, and deplores "attempts by public authorities to block access to information -- on the Internet or in other media of social communication -- because they find it threatening or embarrassing to them, to manipulate the public by propaganda and disinformation, or to impede legitimate freedom of expression and opinion."

But the church also finds fault with the Internet's embrace of libertarianism. "The ideology of radical libertarianism is both mistaken and harmful," the Vatican said. "The error lies in exalting freedom 'to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values.... In this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear.'"

In order to tame the Internet, then, it ought to be regulated, the Vatican said, but "industry self-regulation is best."

Quite a change from the Syllabus of Errors, eh?

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