Friday, May 25, 2007

Medved, Cheeseburger Democracy, and Online Confessions

I rarely post about other blogs directly, but I want to second Framer's announcement that Michael Medved will be speaking in Tucson next Tuesday (link has details). I might go. This guy is no idiot, and the subject "The Four Big Lies about Israel and the Middle East Conflict" is interesting.

Well, the results of the Memorial Day picnic cheeseburger and chips poll are in. For the GOP, Giuliani won the "Who would you most like to have a cheeseburger and chips with on Memorial Day?" Among the blue candidates, Barack Obama got the nod over Hillary. Given the functionality of the current system, I am not sure this method would elect inferior candidates.

A cheeseburger democracy would never elect Dick Cheney. I think a cheeseburger with David Nolan would be very interesting as would one with Frank Antoneri. You couldn't pay me to eat a meal with Karen Johnson. Her pistol would make me nervous.

Of course, cheeseburger elections pose the danger that our next President would be an American Idol contestant, a desperate housewife or even more terrifying, Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck.

Well, the Flamingo Road Church has taken up the notion of confessing one's sins at a website. It allows anonymous submission and everyone else can see everyone's confessions(?). The Vatican has not submitted a press release regarding on line confession functionality. Apparently there is disagreement regarding implementation issues and God's thoughts on the matter.

Some suggest the supreme being's omniscience and omnipotence imply the Lord can "go with the flow" regarding any particular implementation, whether it is one central website for the entire Catholic population of the planet, with user names and passwords supplied to clergy who log in daily to read and respond to submitted confessions. Others favor decentralizing the functionality to regions or even individual churchs to implement websites per their own selected protocol.

The blog approach, which allows all posters to read each others submissions, is almost universally rejected. Submissions will have to be private to the targeted clergy. The largest concern, of course, is security. Secret recordings at confession booths are rare. All emails would be able to be stored. Someone hacking or in some other way accessing hundreds of thousands of confessions would shake confidence in the system. Also, emails can be forwarded with serious implications.

A spokesman for the church who refused to be identified said, "This will not happen quickly."

Intense prayer has directed energy towards the feasibility that the Supreme Being as well as Christ each have His own Divine Website and Holy Email Address allowing believers direct access to the higher powers. This idea has drawn sharp criticism from most church officials, mostly out of the concern that they have no idea how either deity would respond to the messages submitted.

Webmasters and computer science experts also expressed concerns that the deities may create content beyond the means of current technology, but theologians reached wide agreement that both God and Christ would respect the limitations of existing technology.

5 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

Politicians, very close to 100% of them, are people I would not associate with on a personal level for any reason. Think about what it takes to get elected to almost any political position, and this should be understandable.

You seem to have great disdain for religion, x4mr.

5/26/2007 7:00 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

I would assert that regarding both politicians and religion, one has to take a deeper cut. Starting with politicians, I do know some that are fine human beings.

Our Governor is an example. I would honored to have the ability to discuss the world, life, politics, and even spirituality over a cheeseburger with Janet.

Regarding religion, I have a strong reaction to some of its components, not all of it.

The components that I find reprehensible are arrogance and self-righteousness and the LIE of stating one knows something one does NOT.

We do not know what awaits us after death. We do not know that homosexuality is morally unsound. I could go on.

There are very solid intellectual and deeply spiritual experiences that (in my opinion) make belief in higher states and a higher context perfectly sound, far more than the athiest viewpoint.

How can an athiest get to consciousness, much less Beethoven's Ninth? Without getting too technical, I personally cannot accept the leap from inorganic to organic without the intervention of something else.

Sorry, I don't buy "spontaneous animiation." I also reject evolution "by itself." Way too much capability came along for the ride to be explained by survival utility, in my opinion. I have actually gotten into rather heated arguments with some highly educated folks regarding "the primordial swamp."

Nope. Don't buy it. There is something higher, but I will poke fun or worse at those who claim they know all about it.

I have energy in this area because I believe the problematic components of religion (that, and greed) play large roles behind the carnage occurring every day.

5/26/2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

I understand why you feel the way you do about religion.

However, I was raised as a Catholic and I have a different perspective. If Christianity, for example, were stripped of everything except for it's most basic fundamentals, then all you are left with is a very simple message of forgiveness associated with Jesus Christ and the New Testament. His message was essentially good. In fact, the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament are awesome, in my opinion.

The only other religion that I know anything about is Buddhism and I find it absolutely fascinating. I know practically nothing about Islam or Hinduism.

These major religions have been around for thousands of years. Without question, the fundamentals have been distorted for hundreds of years by extremists, opportunists, liars, thieves, fools, and the list goes on. It does not follow that religion is bad or useless and it certainly does not invalidate the very basic and simple messages that these religions were founded on. I really like the story of Jesus Christ, and I choose not to allow psuedo-Christian, whacked out extremists like Pat Robertson influence how I feel about Christianity. Based on what I've read, a lot of Muslims feel the same way about "militant, fundamentalist Islam."

Have you ever heard of Chris Hedges? If not, check him out on Amazon. I think you would find him very interesting.

5/26/2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Absolutely I have heard of Chris Hedges, and you pretty much hit the nail on of what I cannot stand. I cannot read this author because I get too upset. His work is excellent.

I've not done rigorous research, but my sense is that the Falwell based Moral Majority backlash against the perceived turmoil and rise of feminism in the 70's fueled sheer terror that the country was turning into a communist "commune" of free love or something, and these conservatives types fueled by the support of Reagan, Ralph Reed, Robertson and other politico-televangicos gave rise to what is happening now.

The silver lining in all of this blackness is that now they face internal fissures and, in my opinion, an upcoming backlash.

It's too early to say, but I actually think the GOP is splitting into two, three, or even four factions.

1. Wacko Christian fanatics.
2. Goldwater / Buckley Conservatives for strong defense and fiscal responsibility
3. Moderate GOP Giuliani ilk who stand for intelligent responsibility, social tolerance, and accountability.
4. The corporate whores utterly devoted to serving big oil, big pharma, war profiteers, and the wealthiest 1/10 of 1% of the nation, completely unconcerned with driving the nation into crippling debt, or willing to undertake anything (global warming) that touches precious profits.

#1 can barely stand #2 and despises #3. Since #4 owns everything, they buy the elections. Hence our White House and the war in Iraq.

The "real discourse" I will leave to the pro's, but until shown otherwise, my view is that if this were about fighting terrorists, invasion and occupation would have been rejected as viable strategies.

Now we are bleeding to death in a Sunni/Shia quagmire that has nothing to do with Al Queda, or at least it didn't until we handed it to them.

5/26/2007 12:56 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Interesting breakdown of GOP factions. I would argue that #2 is close to extinction because there are so few of them left. Also, I see no evidence that #3 exists. They are really just #4's in a kind of embryonic state. Also, the neo-conservative idealogues, those who are in it just for global domination, deserve their own category. And, now that I think about it, there needs to be yet another category for the non-Christian, uneducated lower and middle class people who watch Fox News and blindly support everything Republican despite the fact they have absolutely nothing to gain from doing so.

5/26/2007 4:41 PM  

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