Friday, April 22, 2011

Nazis and German Catholics and Lutherans

Nazis and German Catholics and Lutherans

An article about Christian martyrs in Nazi Germany, and Catholic-Lutheran relations

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Is it possible to live with a clear conscience

Quora is a forum for questions and answers

Here is a response I gave to a member who asked:

Is it possible to live with a clear conscience in a modern industrial society?

Yes it is possible, but extremely difficult.

Attaining this status is done one decision at a time, thousands of times a day, every day, all day. Eventually it will need to be pursued even in sleep.

The continuous and uninterrupted stream of "choice" should not be seen nor felt as a burden, but rather as incessant opportunity.

The key is to know yourself as "author," and most importantly the author of "you." Who you are is what you have created in your relationship with the voice of your conscience.

Your conscience is a friend and a reliable guide. It is patient, forgiving, and faithful. It will never leave you nor abandon you.

Most people give the right of authorship to the random flux of circumstances. This is an error. Circumstances are merely the environment in which authorship unfolds.

Finally, (so as to avoid a major treatise) there is no such thing as a small or insignificant rejection or violation of conscience. Every yes to conscience counts, just as every rejection or violation of the voice of conscience counts.

A clear conscience is the sweetest of all things,and worth the battle. Don't compromise, don't cheat, don't shade, don't mislead. Be courageous. No threat should be seen as sufficiently terrifying, no opportunity should be seen as sufficiently enticing, that you would chose to violate or reject the voice of your conscience, even in the tiniest way.

If you can go this way, you will be as free as God.

Two State Solution

Quora is a forum for questions and answers

Here is my response to a member asking about the "two-state solution."

If the two state solution is dead, what is the future for Palestinians?

The Palestine Papers indicate that the Israeli government refused huge concessions. Does that mean that they believe they can inch the Palestinians out, one settlement at a time?

Answer Summary

The pursuit of two states is misguided to begin with

The problem is not technically that "the two-state solution is dead" so much as that the phrase is an oxymoron. Two states is not a solution.

It both disappoints, and confuses me that intelligent and well meaning people pursue this. The fact is obviously that even a most perfectly and seamlessly crafted and implemented "two-state" arrangement would solve next to nothing.

As best I can see, "a two-state solution" is something of a nickname for "a slightly smaller Israel, with a new hostile neighbor." Presently Israel is size X, and has as its neighbors, Lebanon, Syriah, Jordon, kind of somehow Saudi Arabia (a stone's skip or two across the puddle), and Egypt.

What is called "a two state solution," would make Israel size X minus, add a new "country" (Palestine?) into the geography, while doing flat zero to solve ANY of the deeply tragic difficulties and suffering born by all people trapped in this sad and complicated relationsip.

The solution the region needs is a growing integration; fewer and fewer boundaries, not more and more of them, ever more irremovable, cynically politicized, and grotesquely militarized.

The costly (in all ways) effort to establish "two states" no matter how on earth it could be designed still leaves the horrific reality that each side would continue with madness and zeal to desire and seek by all means treasure held by the other (family property, access to sacred sites and more)

Calcifying division, enmity, and distrust into political structures (that automatically implies military defense of the political) should never be bound in the same sentence with the sweet, liberating world solution.

More bonds, more trust, more rights, more freedoms, more understanding, greater integration, expanding cooperation characterize the essential impulse that should appear in sentences with the word solution.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bibles released in Malaysia

Bibles released in Malaysia

The government of Malaysia confirmed Saturday that the proposed 10-point solution has paved successfully the way for the release of the 35,100 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia, which were impounded in Port Klang and Kuching.

While attracting relatively little attention worldwide, Malaysia has been wrestling with a matter of global significance now in its third year. Political tensions arose related to the question of permitting use of the term Allah in Bible translations. The issue is serious, and not easily solved.

Read more here