Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Blessing the Bombs - Father George Zabelka's Confession

Last evening a group of us here in Canberra who regularly gather to discuss books and articles that provoke moral and theological reflection, were engaged in a very lively discussion of "The Song of Nagasaki" and the issues it raises for our contemporary situation.  At one point we were reflecting on the difficult and challenging role of military chaplains (one among our group has served part-time in such a capacity.)

I recalled reading about the significant change of heart and mind undertaken by the chaplain with the US Air Force - Father George Zabelka - who had earlier given his "holy" blessing over the American pilots and crew members who flew on the Enola Gay (on the Hiroshima mission) and the Boxcar (Nagasaki) just before they dropped the atomic bombs over those Japanese cities in August 1945, obliterating thousands of innocent inhabitants in an instant, and consigning the survivors to die of radiation poisoning.

Over the next twenty years, Fr. Zabelka gradually came to believe that he had been terribly wrong, that he had denied the very foundations of his faith by lending moral and religious support to the bombing.  He died in 1992, but was most remembered for a speech he gave on the 40th anniversary of the bombings at a Pax Christi conference in August 1985 at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana -- not far from where I grew up. (A tape of his speech is archived there.) 

Father George Zabelka's own powerful soul-searching words below need to be taken very deeply to the heart, because even today it is a great temptation for pastors and chaplains to bless the bombs and the bombers for "our side."  (Economic security plays a big role in all of this since all chaplains in the various Australian Defence Forces get their paycheck from the government.  So it takes great courage to exert a dissenting voice while in service, though I learned last evening that at least in the Navy the chaplain automatically takes on the same rank as to whomever he/she is talking with.)  -Clair


Sunday, 18 March 2012

America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President ?


My brother sent me a copy of David Barton's latest article earlier today, titled as above but without the question mark.  However he was astute enough to raise the question as to whether this was accurate reporting.  Here is the response I sent him:

No, that is not accurate reporting.  And thanks for raising the question!  I'm cc'ing this to [someone else] who sent me the same thing a few days ago.


I wish political conservatives who allow this to feed into their basic mindset would do just a little basic research before their gullibility takes over and they perpetuate such ill-informed lies.  

Though Barton may think he is well-intentioned and doing "research," he is known to be a pathological liar and can't seem to help himself.  Though you can find certain grains of truth in that crap article, the whole stew he has created is rotten.  Check this out for just one good source of what I'm saying here - there are more. 

In contrast to the above, here's a verifiable story documented last week by New York Times best selling author Steven Mansfield about the President offering some pastoral care to Florida's conservative pastor Joel Hunter which naysayers should try to absorb.  Mansfield begins like this:

"The conventional wisdom is that the political left in America is suspicious of stories of presidential faith and the political right is suspicious of stories of presidential faith that involve Barack Obama. What we often lose in the crush between the two are those tender, endearing episodes that sometimes arise from a presidency and become treasured in American memory.

There is such a tale and it deserves to be told. It does reveal something of the spirituality of the current American president but it will not impact an election or change political opinions. Obama's critics may deny it. His supporters may exploit it. The cynical may doubt it. Yet, the tale is true and it belongs to us.

It begins with Dr. Joel Hunter, the pastor of Northland Church in Orland, Fla., a man unlikely to be part of a story like Barack Obama's. Hunter was a political conservative who had once been asked to head the Christian Coalition, the advocacy group founded by Pat Robertson. Yet, when Hunter responded publicly and favorably to Obama's "A More Perfect Union" speech in 2008, Obama heard of it and sent the pastor a note. "I'd like to catch up with you someday," he said..."

Lee, I hope you will forward this back up the chain you got it from - and ask them to do the same!  And in case people think I bow down and worship Obama - that this is just a knee-jerk response from another "liberal" - well they can read my blog anytime and see that I am often critiquing what the Obama administration is up to!   

Know the truth - and let it set you free, 
Your brother Clair in Canberra 

P.S.  to finish the story above, go here.

 "Where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."  - Frederich Buechner   
  


Clair, is this accurate reporting?  -Lee

From: (email address deleted)
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 2:39 AM
To: (long email chain deleted here)
Subject: Fw: Biblically Hostile President
 

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: (email address deleted)

Sent: Monday, March 12, 2012 2:27 PM
Subject: Biblically Hostile President
David Barton - 02/29/2012
America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U. S. President
When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical. And then when his hostility toward Biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-Biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-Biblical actions.
Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.
1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:
  • April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren't like them.” 1
  • February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 2
  • April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered when he is making his speech. 3 
  • May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 4
  • April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 5
  • October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 6
  • November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 7
  • January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 8
  • February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 9
  • April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 10
  • August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 11
  • November 2011 – Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. 12
  • November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 13
  • December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries' religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 14
  • January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 15
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 16
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:
  • June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 17
  • August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America). 18
  • September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 19
  • September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 20
  • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 21
  • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. 22
  • February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 23
  • February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 24
  • February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 25
3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:
  • January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. 26
  • January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 27
  • March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 28
  • March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 29
  • March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 30
  • May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. 31 He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 32
  • May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 33
  • July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 34
  • September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 35
  • July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 36
  • August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 37
  • September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 38
  • February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 39
  • March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 40
  • July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 41
  • September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 42
  • October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 43
4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:
  • May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 44
  • April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 45
  • April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 46
  • August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 47
  • August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 48
  • 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 49
  • October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 50
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, 51 but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. 52
Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.
Endnotes

1. Sarah Pulliam Baily, "Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’," Christianity Today, April 13, 2008. (Return)

2. Aliza Marcus, "Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers," Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, "Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers," Christianity Today, February 18, 2011. (Return)

3. Jim Lovino, "Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech," NBC Washington, April 17, 2009. (Return)

4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House," Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009. (Return)

5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009. (Return)

6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010. (Return)

7. "Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia," The White House, November 10, 2010. (Return)

8. LadyImpactOhio, " Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt," Red State, January 14, 2011. (Return)

9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith
,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012. (Return)

10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011. (Return)

11. Chuck Donovan, “HHS’s New Health Guidelines Trample on Conscience,” Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2011. (Return)

12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011. (Return)

13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011. (Return)

14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011. (Return)

15. Ted Olson, “Church Wins Firing Case at Supreme Court,” Christianity Today, January 11, 2012. (Return)

16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012. (Return)

17. “Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011. (Return)

18. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011. (Return)

19. "Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion," Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011. (Return)

20. "Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines," Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

21. "Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity," Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011. (Return)

22. Jenny Dean, "Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans," Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011. (Return)

23. Ken Blackwell, "Gen. Boykin Blocked At West Point," cnsnews.com, February 1, 2012. (Return)

24. Geoff Herbert, " Air Force unit removes 'God' from logo; lawmakers warn of 'dangerous precedent'," syracuse.com, February 9, 2012. (Return)

25. Todd Starnes, "Army Silences Catholic Chaplains," Fox News Radio, February 6, 2012. (Return)

26. Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles, "Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding," Reuters, January 23, 2009. (Return)

27. "Obama pick: Taxpayers must fund abortions," World Net Daily, January 27, 2009. (Return)

28. Steven Ertelt, "Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK," LifeNews, March 5, 2009. (Return)

29. " Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding," Fox News, March 9, 2009. (Return)

30. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, "President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation," LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)

31. Steven Ertelt, "Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education," LifeNews, May 8, 2009. (Return)

32. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin," LifeNews, February 14, 2011. (Return)

33. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist," LifeNews, May 5, 2009. (Return)

34. "Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies," The White House, June 17, 2009. (Return)

35. Matt Cover, "Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals," cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010. (Return)

36. Tess Civantos, "White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say," Fox News, July 22, 2010. (Return)

37. Steven Ertelt, "Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study," LifeNews, August 26, 2010. (Return)

38. Steven Ertelt, "President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation," LifeNews, February 11, 2012. (Return)

39. Brian Montopoli, "Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA," CBSNews, February 23, 2011. (Return)

40. Steven Ertelt, "Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos," LifeNews, March 2, 2011. (Return)

41. Elisabeth Bumiller, "Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy," New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778. (Return)

42. Luis Martinez, "Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?," ABC News, October 12, 2011. (Return)

43. Jerry Markon, "Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups," Washington Post, October 31, 2011. (Return)

44. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009. (Return)

45. "Franklin Graham Regrets Army's Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service," Fox News, April 22, 2010. (Return)

46. “Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; "Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as 'Legitimate Tenet of Islam'," Fox News, May 27, 2010; "'Islamic Radicalism' Nixed From Obama Document," CBSNews, April 7, 2010. (Return)

47. Chuck Norris, “ President Obama: Muslim Missionary? (Part 2),” Townhall.com, August 24, 2010; Chuck Norris, "President Obama: Muslim Missionary?," Townhall.com, August 17, 2010.(Return)

48. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; "Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero," Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, "Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero," American Thinker, July 21, 2011. (Return)

49. "WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation," Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; "President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional," American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).(Return)

50. "Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House," Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

51. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012; "USA/Afghanistan-Islamophobia: Pentagon official apologizes for Quran burning," International Islamic News Agency (accessed on February 29, 2012). (Return)

52. "Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan," CNN, May 22, 2009.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

They say my theology is 'bent - but don't ignore this uni-fying strategy for maintaining a healthy "balance!"

Three years ago, soon after travelling the yellow brick road all the way to Oz - and spite of friends like Ann (who touts those wonderful Spiderflex seats for the traditional push bike) I converted to this pre-owned 'bent (recumbent) version of human-powered vehicle for travelling around. (Yes, with two "ll"s.  That is how they spell it here in the land of Oz.  And, by the way, in normal conversation here they don't ask how it's going - they ask "How are you travelling?)  Quite well now - thank you!

Yes, I experienced a true conversion to the Greenspeed GT and have never looked back. (Though I do use mirrors!)  My tadpole trike - with two wheels in front that steer with one wheel in back - means no more hunched and aching shoulders! There are numerous other advantages to pedaling in alternate realities. Allow me to expound.

For example, whether I take my "flying furniture" right into the midst of an open-air concert - or pause to smell the roses - the result is the same: I'm already sitting there in my exotic lawn chair with built-in foot/leg rests and bottle of drink, instantly enjoying the show without having to unpack a thing! (In fact, I did so just last Sunday evening, resting in the...Lord, it was a fabulous two-hour Canberra Symphony Orchestra concert right there in the middle of Commonwealth Park!)

There are several other advantages, including a significant increase in the efficient use of High-Spirited power - leg power, that is...  To be honest, being in 'bent mode means going a bit slower up hills - but you don't get near as tired. And I'll level with you, it's like greased lightning going downhill fast, because there is much less wind resistance (even without a cowling!)   Did you know that 'bents were banned from conventional bike races, because they started winning all the big races before the ban?!

And you never tip - no need to put your foot down in disgust.  Except this tip might help:  Since 'bent trikes are swinging low like a sweet chariot, it's a good idea to run up a flag as a survival tactic.  Get something orange or florescent green or some other "pillar of fire" right up there - blazing in the eyes of vehicle drivers to ensure they grant you sufficient bearth in the bike lane!

And oh, it's great for relationships!  I've felt quite welcome as a member of a comfortable congregation of 'bent lovers here in Canberra, the ACT branch of OzHPV - Australian Human Powered Vehicles. I don't get to all of them, but there are monthly spins around the lake for social and physical support, and general revival of the spirit, and other spontaneous "special" experiences that tend to warm the heart.


That's a sample from among the many in the photo collection of our "mob" as we refer to it (though traditionally, in Australia, that's the official nomenclature for a group of kangaroos!)  But it's the context for my "sitz im leben."  Indeed, it can be a very spiritual experience -- feeling all grounded and relaxed while in full control, watching nature glide past while physically in a unique position to fully experience that laid-back Aussie approach.  No (back or shoulder) strain, just a lot of gain:  enjoying a very "balanced" conversation with each other, and a great sense of connection and group identity.  No time to worry about or even notice those typical isolating stares that tend to come when travelling alone - yes, there is real strength in numbers!

I've disengaged from the journeys of all those dualistic traditional wheelers who push themselves around in all their "conventional" wisdom, enduring their neck and back strains.  Instead these days I enjoy a wildly syncretistic experience, alternating between my (Trinitarian) laid back three-wheeler and my upright (Unitarian) version - see the photo on the right.  I literally hop on it when I choose to exercise (my options) in a well-balanced and unifying mode - though it is indeed a bit more challenging.

There is one drawback, however, in regards to the later. One must be prepared for some fall-out.  And some traditionalists deem uni-cycle riders to be members of a very weird sect with an oft-misinterpreted agenda. To specifically illustrate the level of "persecution" one must be prepared to tolerate if choosing this version of faith in the unimodal method, I'll share this link to a most enlightening excerpt from a recent Colbert Report titled "The Enemy Within!"  (a sarcastic sampling from the most hellish array of prejudicial and sarcastic invective a uni-cyclist might ever expect to endure!)

So now you know the truth that has set me free!  It also helps explain why on the 29th of February 2008 Carole Anne and I "leaped" ("lept?") out of America to cross the Big Pond and landed in Australia.  Yes, though I once was a lost sole (uni-cyclist) floundering on the flatlands around Goshen Indiana, now I truly see the light!  This laid-back mob in Oz has extended lotsa inclusive grace toward Dualists and Trinitarian-wheelers alike -- and even a Uni-fied bloke like me.  Come and see; come and see:  http://www.ozhpv.org.au/stategroups/act/act.html

-Chaplain Clair de L'uni

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

So let me get this straight...

William Rivers Pitt of Truthout.org recently wrote:
"So let me get this straight.

Rick Santorum, who we are somehow supposed to believe is a serious candidate for the highest office in America, thinks people should not go to college because education is somehow a code word for socialist indoctrination. Mitt Romney, another walking joke, was for birth control before he was against it before he was for it before he was against it before he was for it.

Rush Limbaugh, the godhead of hate radio and the leader of the modern Republican Party, wants private citizens who use birth control to film themselves having sex for his personal edification.

Meanwhile, the latest polls tell us that fully half of the Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi believe President Obama is a secret Muslim … oh, and they're not quite sold on the legality of mixed-race marriage, either.

And that's just for openers, here in the brave new world that is 21st-century America. Call it stupid, call it silly, dismiss it with a disgusted wave of your hand if you wish, but this stuff is being blasted out there in an endless barrage, and after awhile, it sticks. Cretins like Rush Limbaugh not only spew anti-Muslim hatred on domestic airwaves - Limbaugh is a featured program on Armed Forces Radio, reaching the ears and minds of American soldiers fighting a grinding, ceaseless and pointless war in Afghanistan."

Is anyone still wondering why I'm quite happy to still be living in Australia during this election cycle? My friends here shake their heads in amazement (this crap gets regurgitated on the Australian TV news every night) and wonder aloud how my family and friends in America can endure two years of this awful "comedy" show.  I tell them laughter therapy is good for the soul!  -Clair