Moving from “Good” Friday to a holy Saturday

Today is known as “Good Friday.” Well, it’s actually only known as such among English- and Dutch-speaking people. Other names for this day include, according to UMC Discipleship Ministries, “‘Holy Friday’ among the Latin nations, “Great Friday” among the Slavic peoples, “Friday of Mourning” in Germany, “Long Friday” in Norway, and “Holy Friday” (Viernes Santo) among Hispanic peoples.”

We can only call this day “good” or “great” looking backwards from the perspective of Easter, of Resurrection. But it seems to me that we can better, more fully, enter into the story of Jesus by suspending whatever knowledge we have of Sunday and fully live into the despair of his death today. That’s what we’ll attempt to do with a three-part worship experience tonight at Woodridge United Methodist.

At 5:45 tonight, we gather around a table to share a simple meal, perhaps similar to the meal Jesus ate with his friends that final night. As this is a gathering for all ages, we’ll also have kid-friendly options. This is an interactive time as we consider together and enact the odd-to-us way dinners were served in Jesus’ time.

At 6:30, we continue to experience the story of Jesus’ final hours as we move from table fellowship to walking Stations of the Cross in our Narthex and Sanctuary. This ancient form of prayer invites us to hear 14 moments along Jesus’ journey to the cross.

Then at 7:00pm, a more traditional Good Friday worship time begins, making use of candles, songs, shadow, readings, and reflections.

We exit this service in silence, mirroring the silence of the grave. Jesus, our Lord, our teacher, our friend is dead.

Our challenge in this time is to be honest about this. Our challenge is to keep Saturday Holy. We know Sunday is coming. We can’t wait for the color and sound explosion that is Resurrection Day. But that’s a day away. We can’t yet know that relief. As Slacktivist, Fred Clark, so eloquently writes,

This day, the Saturday that can’t know if there will ever be a Sunday, is the day we live in, you and I, today and every day for the whole of our lives. This is all we are given to know…

Here, in time, there’s just this day, this dreadful Saturday of not knowing.

There are some things we can know on this Saturday. Jesus is dead, to begin with, dead and buried. He said the world was upside-down and needed a revolution to turn it right-way-round and so he was executed for disturbing the peace. He came and said love was greater than power, and so power killed him…

Seriously, just look around. Does it look like the meek are inheriting the earth? Does it look like those who hunger and thirst for justice are being filled? Does it look like the merciful are being shown mercy?

Jesus was meek and merciful and hungry for justice and look where that got him. They killed him. We killed him. Power won.

Our challenge is to be honest about this Saturday. Our challenge is to live with the silence of the tomb. As Taylor Burton-Edwards writes, “This is the silence of the tomb, or perhaps more accurately, the silence from the tomb. This is the silence that grabs us, if we are paying attention at all, when we contemplate the aftermath of the crucifixion.”

To help us experience this, Burton-Edwards leads a Holy Saturday service each year via Twitter. You may follow it at the hashtag #holysat16 beginning at 9:00 am (Central time) Saturday, March 26th.

Let’s keep this Saturday Holy by honestly acknowledging the limits of our knowledge and by allowing the silence of and from the tomb to wash over us. Perhaps then, when we gather Sunday morning at 9:00 and 10:30 am, our celebrations will be sweeter than ever.

Bad debate

Last week we were treated to excellent content on the relationship between faith and science, first from Deacon Beth’s column and then the music, prayers, and Pastor Jim’s sermon in worship.

In our youth ministries we spent the month of January examining that same relationship, utilizing the experiences of some of our congregation’s scientists (THANKS Richard, Kathy, & Wally!). Add to that all the response to the recently televised “debate” between Bill Nye (TV’s The Science Guy) and Ken Ham, the young-Earth creationist and president of the Creation Museum, and you wind up with a whole lot of words shared on the topic.

My favorite blogger, Fred Clark has an extensive rundown of the Nye-Ham coverage.

Along with all these thoughts, I want to add an image, a quote, and a thought.

First, an image (from James McGrath) to sum up the Nye-Ham “debate”:

Ham-Nye-debate-in-a-nutshell

 

Now, the quote. I don’t always agree with the UMC’s Book of Discipline, but on this topic I find it exactly right:

science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology.

The UMC also has a 2008 resolution opposing using “faith-based theories such as creationism or intelligent design” in public school science curriculums.

See, all this faith versus science stuff really comes down to how we understand (or misunderstand) the bible. UMC pastor and blogger, Roger Wolsey has a terrific post on how we read the bible. I think he describes my position very well.

The accounts – yes, plural – of creation in Genesis 1 & 2 aren’t trying to offer first-hand reporting of how the universe was created. That’s, of course, impossible. Also, those accounts were written millennia before the scientific method. It’s unhelpful, unfair, and, frankly, ridiculous to try to impose scientific standards on pre-scientific material. We just end up looking dumb when we do so. For instance, Genesis 1, when read (il)literally like Ken Ham does, would have us believe that plants grew before the sun was there. Even Middle School students know that’s impossible.

But I’m very glad we have the witness of Genesis 1 & 2. They may not be scientific statements, but they are significant in their own right.

They are very significant statements – by real people who lived in a particular time and, inescapably, had a particular understanding of how the world works – about what the world is like (spoiler alert: it’s good!) and what the Creator God is like. For instance – and I believe this is paramount – unlike the creation stories told by basically every other nation around them, our faith ancestors left us a creation story noticeably absent of war and rape. Instead, we have  that rare depiction of a god who can create without violence of any kind. It is that rare depiction of a god who is intimately involved in, and related to, the world. It is that rare depiction of a god who wants not slaves, but lovers. And not just any kind of lovers, but lovers “made in our image.” That is, lovers in the image of the Triune God: engaged in mutual, egalitarian relationship.

A loving, egalitarian relationship extended to themselves, each other, all people – confoundingly, even their enemies – and to all of creation.

How’s that for a Valentine’s Day tie-in?

 

 

 

 

Called to care for those at the margins

I had my usual for breakfast: a bowl of Kashi Go Lean cereal with raisins. (I prefer it with blueberries or raspberries though.)

No word on what President Obama – or anyone else present – had for breakfast at this morning’s National Prayer Breakfast. (Not that I looked that hard, mind you. And by “not that hard” I of course mean: not at all.)

But our President gave a terrific speech.

Now, my main man, Fred Clark rightly flogged this event yesterday. As Fred reminded us, “The National Prayer Breakfast is a celebration of power and a celebration of the powerful. It is organized by a group dedicated to celebrating power — The Family.”

To quote Fred quoting Jeff Sharlet:

The Family’s only publicized gathering is the National Prayer Breakfast, which it established in 1953 and which, with congressional sponsorship, it continues to organize every February in Washington, D.C. Each year 3,000 dignitaries, representing scores of nations, pay $425 each to attend. Steadfastly ecumenical, too bland most years to merit much press, the breakfast is regarded by the Family as merely a tool in a larger purpose: to recruit the powerful attendees into smaller, more frequent prayer meetings, where they can “meet Jesus man to man.”

Back to Clark: “And the ‘Jesus’ those recruits are going to meet in those groups is the ‘Jesus’ of the powerful, the blasphemous Jesus of power who isn’t concerned about the very poor.”

Given all that, I was thrilled to read that President Obama said this:

When I talk about giving every American a fair shot at opportunity, it’s because I believe that when a young person can afford a college education, or someone who’s been unemployed suddenly has a chance to retrain for a job and regain that sense of dignity and pride, and contributing to the community as well as supporting their families — that helps us all prosper.

It means maybe that research lab on the cusp of a lifesaving discovery, or the company looking for skilled workers is going to do a little bit better, and we’ll all do better as a consequence.  It makes economic sense.  But part of that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper; that as a country, we rise and fall together.  I’m not an island.  I’m not alone in my success.  I succeed because others succeed with me.

And when I decide to stand up for foreign aid, or prevent atrocities in places like Uganda, or take on issues like human trafficking, it’s not just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or projecting American leadership around the world, although it does all those things and it will make us safer and more secure.  It’s also about the biblical call to care for the least of these –- for the poor; for those at the margins of our society. (emphasis mine)

My friend, Brain McLaren offers cogent analysis of the speech and of the man. (“My friend” McLaren? I’ve met him three or four times and had meaningful conversation with him, but I doubt he’d remember me.) I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 (even campaigned for him a wee bit), and I’ll vote for him again this November. That doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed in some things the President has done – and some he has left undone. Guantanamo Bay chief among them. Mr. President, why the #$*^ haven’t you closed the gulag that is Guantanamo Bay yet?!?

But, as his speech today demonstrated, he is a good man and he cares about people on the margins – which is exactly one of the main roles the government must play. Contrast that with Mitt Romney’s attitude toward the poor.

Anyway, watch (or just read) President Obama’s remarks then let me know what you thought of the speech.

————————————

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
February 02, 2012

Remarks by the President at the National Prayer Breakfast

Washington Hilton
Washington, D.C.

9:10 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Please, please, everybody have a seat.  Well, good morning, everybody.  It is good to be with so many friends united in prayer.  And I begin by giving all praise and honor to God for bringing us together here today.

I want to thank our co-chairs Mark and Jeff; to my dear friend, the guy who always has my back, Vice President Biden.  (Applause.)  All the members of Congress –- Joe deserves a hand –- all the members of Congress and my Cabinet who are here today; all the distinguished guests who’ve traveled a long way to be part of this.  I’m not going to be as funny as Eric — (laughter) — but I’m grateful that he shared his message with us.  Michelle and I feel truly blessed to be here.

This is my third year coming to this prayer breakfast as President.  As Jeff mentioned, before that, I came as senator.  I have to say, it’s easier coming as President.  (Laughter.)  I don’t have to get here quite as early.  But it’s always been an opportunity that I’ve cherished.  And it’s a chance to step back for a moment, for us to come together as brothers and sisters and seek God’s face together.  At a time when it’s easy to lose ourselves in the rush and clamor of our own lives, or get caught up in the noise and rancor that too often passes as politics today, these moments of prayer slow us down.  They humble us.  They remind us that no matter how much responsibility we have, how fancy our titles, how much power we think we hold, we are imperfect vessels.  We can all benefit from turning to our Creator, listening to Him.  Avoiding phony religiosity, listening to Him.

This is especially important right now, when we’re facing some big challenges as a nation.  Our economy is making progress as we recover from the worst crisis in three generations, but far too many families are still struggling to find work or make the mortgage, pay for college, or, in some cases, even buy food.  Our men and women in uniform have made us safer and more secure, and we were eternally grateful to them, but war and suffering and hardship still remain in too many corners of the globe.  And a lot of those men and women who we celebrate on Veterans Day and Memorial Day come back and find that, when it comes to finding a job or getting the kind of care that they need, we’re not always there the way we need to be.

It’s absolutely true that meeting these challenges requires sound decision-making, requires smart policies.  We know that part of living in a pluralistic society means that our personal religious beliefs alone can’t dictate our response to every challenge we face.

But in my moments of prayer, I’m reminded that faith and values play an enormous role in motivating us to solve some of our most urgent problems, in keeping us going when we suffer setbacks, and opening our minds and our hearts to the needs of others.

We can’t leave our values at the door.  If we leave our values at the door, we abandon much of the moral glue that has held our nation together for centuries, and allowed us to become somewhat more perfect a union.  Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day, Abraham Heschel — the majority of great reformers in American history did their work not just because it was sound policy, or they had done good analysis, or understood how to exercise good politics, but because their faith and their values dictated it, and called for bold action — sometimes in the face of indifference, sometimes in the face of resistance.

This is no different today for millions of Americans, and it’s certainly not for me.

I wake up each morning and I say a brief prayer, and I spend a little time in scripture and devotion.  And from time to time, friends of mine, some of who are here today, friends like Joel Hunter or T.D. Jakes, will come by the Oval Office or they’ll call on the phone or they’ll send me a email, and we’ll pray together, and they’ll pray for me and my family, and for our country.

But I don’t stop there.  I’d be remiss if I stopped there; if my values were limited to personal moments of prayer or private conversations with pastors or friends.  So instead, I must try — imperfectly, but I must try — to make sure those values motivate me as one leader of this great nation.

And so when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street, when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren’t discriminating against those who are already sick, or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody.  But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  I know the version of that Golden Rule is found in every major religion and every set of beliefs -– from Hinduism to Islam to Judaism to the writings of Plato.

And when I talk about shared responsibility, it’s because I genuinely believe that in a time when many folks are struggling, at a time when we have enormous deficits, it’s hard for me to ask seniors on a fixed income, or young people with student loans, or middle-class families who can barely pay the bills to shoulder the burden alone.  And I think to myself, if I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense.

But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that “for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.”  It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.

When I talk about giving every American a fair shot at opportunity, it’s because I believe that when a young person can afford a college education, or someone who’s been unemployed suddenly has a chance to retrain for a job and regain that sense of dignity and pride, and contributing to the community as well as supporting their families — that helps us all prosper.

It means maybe that research lab on the cusp of a lifesaving discovery, or the company looking for skilled workers is going to do a little bit better, and we’ll all do better as a consequence.  It makes economic sense.  But part of that belief comes from my faith in the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper; that as a country, we rise and fall together.  I’m not an island.  I’m not alone in my success.  I succeed because others succeed with me.

And when I decide to stand up for foreign aid, or prevent atrocities in places like Uganda, or take on issues like human trafficking, it’s not just about strengthening alliances, or promoting democratic values, or projecting American leadership around the world, although it does all those things and it will make us safer and more secure.  It’s also about the biblical call to care for the least of these –- for the poor; for those at the margins of our society.

To answer the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.”  And for others, it may reflect the Jewish belief that the highest form of charity is to do our part to help others stand on their own.

Treating others as you want to be treated.  Requiring much from those who have been given so much.  Living by the principle that we are our brother’s keeper.  Caring for the poor and those in need.  These values are old.  They can be found in many denominations and many faiths, among many believers and among many non-believers.  And they are values that have always made this country great — when we live up to them; when we don’t just give lip service to them; when we don’t just talk about them one day a year.  And they’re the ones that have defined my own faith journey.

And today, with as many challenges as we face, these are the values I believe we’re going to have to return to in the hopes that God will buttress our efforts.

Now, we can earnestly seek to see these values lived out in our politics and our policies, and we can earnestly disagree on the best way to achieve these values.  In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Christianity has not, and does not profess to have a detailed political program.  It is meant for all men at all times, and the particular program which suited one place or time would not suit another.”

Our goal should not be to declare our policies as biblical.  It is God who is infallible, not us.  Michelle reminds me of this often.  (Laughter.)  So instead, it is our hope that people of goodwill can pursue their values and common ground and the common good as best they know how, with respect for each other.  And I have to say that sometimes we talk about respect, but we don’t act with respect towards each other during the course of these debates.

But each and every day, for many in this room, the biblical injunctions are not just words, they are also deeds.  Every single day, in different ways, so many of you are living out your faith in service to others.

Just last month, it was inspiring to see thousands of young Christians filling the Georgia Dome at the Passion Conference, to worship the God who sets the captives free and work to end modern slavery.  Since we’ve expanded and strengthened the White House faith-based initiative, we’ve partnered with Catholic Charities to help Americans who are struggling with poverty; worked with organizations like World Vision and American Jewish World Service and Islamic Relief to bring hope to those suffering around the world.

Colleges across the country have answered our Interfaith Campus Challenge, and students are joined together across religious lines in service to others.  From promoting responsible fatherhood to strengthening adoption, from helping people find jobs to serving our veterans, we’re linking arms with faith-based groups all across the country.

I think we all understand that these values cannot truly find voice in our politics and our policies unless they find a place in our hearts.  The Bible teaches us to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers.”  We’re required to have a living, breathing, active faith in our own lives.  And each of us is called on to give something of ourselves for the betterment of others — and to live the truth of our faith not just with words, but with deeds.

So even as we join the great debates of our age — how we best put people back to work, how we ensure opportunity for every child, the role of government in protecting this extraordinary planet that God has made for us, how we lessen the occasions of war — even as we debate these great issues, we must be reminded of the difference that we can make each day in our small interactions, in our personal lives.

As a loving husband, or a supportive parent, or a good neighbor, or a helpful colleague — in each of these roles, we help bring His kingdom to Earth.  And as important as government policy may be in shaping our world, we are reminded that it’s the cumulative acts of kindness and courage and charity and love, it’s the respect we show each other and the generosity that we share with each other that in our everyday lives will somehow sustain us during these challenging times.  John tells us that, “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?  Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

Mark read a letter from Billy Graham, and it took me back to one of the great honors of my life, which was visiting Reverend Graham at his mountaintop retreat in North Carolina, when I was on vacation with my family at a hotel not far away.

And I can still remember winding up the path up a mountain to his home.  Ninety-one years old at the time, facing various health challenges, he welcomed me as he would welcome a family member or a close friend.  This man who had prayed great prayers that inspired a nation, this man who seemed larger than life, greeted me and was as kind and as gentle as could be.

And we had a wonderful conversation.  Before I left, Reverend Graham started praying for me, as he had prayed for so many Presidents before me.  And when he finished praying, I felt the urge to pray for him.  I didn’t really know what to say.  What do you pray for when it comes to the man who has prayed for so many?  But like that verse in Romans, the Holy Spirit interceded when I didn’t know quite what to say.

And so I prayed — briefly, but I prayed from the heart.  I don’t have the intellectual capacity or the lung capacity of some of my great preacher friends here that have prayed for a long time.  (Laughter.)  But I prayed.  And we ended with an embrace and a warm goodbye.

And I thought about that moment all the way down the mountain, and I’ve thought about it in the many days since.  Because I thought about my own spiritual journey –- growing up in a household that wasn’t particularly religious; going through my own period of doubt and confusion; finding Christ when I wasn’t even looking for him so many years ago; possessing so many shortcomings that have been overcome by the simple grace of God.  And the fact that I would ever be on top of a mountain, saying a prayer for Billy Graham –- a man whose faith had changed the world and that had sustained him through triumphs and tragedies, and movements and milestones –- that simple fact humbled me to my core.

I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment — asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong.  I know that He will guide us.  He always has, and He always will.  And I pray his richest blessings on each of you in the days ahead.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

END 9:30 A.M. EST

Well said!

Welcome to another edition of my version of that blog post staple, the weekly recap/links roundup/info dump. My intent is to highlight stuff I came across this week (or, you know, at least fairly recently) that I found well-written or inspiring or bizarre or…well, or perhaps stuff so good I wish I’d written it myself. I suspect blogging deity, Fred Clark (aka Slacktivist) will feature prominently here.

Enough preamble! On with the Well said! list!

Continuing the theme of my previous post, over at Good, Cord Jefferson – with help from Brittany Spears and Kim Kardashian – compellingly demonstrates why Marriage Isn’t Sacred.

I am a Bread for the World member. They do amazing work to fight hunger and poverty. I am honored to be a teeny, tiny part of that work. They also do a great job of challenging me to think about the real effects of poverty. The answer is, no, I don’t think I could. How about you? Could you live on $31.50 a week for food?

In my experience, followers of God in the Way of Jesus need a variety of ways to understand salvation. For many, including me, the (it-turns-out-not-so)old evangelical standard substitutionary atonement understanding ultimately is too stomach-churning to hold. Fortunately, Chriatian Piatt at [D]mergent offers a great post with other ways to understand Jesus and the cross: Did Jesus Really Die for Our Sins?

Finally, do your self a favor and read everything Fred Clark writes at Slacktivist. Or at the very least, read Looking beyond their needs to determine fault. Yeah, you’ll be even madder at Herman Cain, et al. But you’ll have a better understanding why you’re mad.

Well said!

Welcome to my version of that blog post staple, the weekly recap/links roundup/info dump. My intent is to highlight stuff I came across this week (or, you know, at least fairly recently) that I found well-written or inspiring or bizarre or…well, or perhaps stuff so good I wish I’d written it myself. I suspect blogging deity, Fred Clark (aka Slacktivist) will feature prominently here.

Enough preamble! On with the Well said! list!

1. I’m just going to go ahead and admit this: I’d never heard of the country of Bahrain until maybe two weeks ago. Call me a stereotypically ignorant USAmerican, I guess. But I know now. Pretty sure I could even find it on a map.

The last few weeks I couldn’t hardly pull myself away from the coverage of the protests in Egypt. I was especially moved by their non-violent nature. Is there anything more inspiring than sucessful non-violent protest and revolution?

But it wasn’t all violence-free, was it? The absolutely horrible and horrifying story of the physical and sexual assault of CBS News correspondent Lara Logan serves as probably the highest profile example of said violence.

Some of the reactions to Logan’s assaults have been almost as violent and nearly as horrifying. Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. gets it right denouncing those reactions. I especially like how Pitts refers to those attacking Logan now as “something named…”

The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s a taste:

But what is also appalling — arguably, more appalling — is the reflexive objectification of a woman who has been violently violated. To read these comments and the many more like them circulating the web, it is easy to forget that we are talking about a real attack upon a real woman who must now grapple with real consequences. It’s as if some feel Logan’s tragedy exists only as a vehicle for them to score political points.

2. Speaking of Egypt, this is a few weeks old now, but I still think it’s amazing. She was right. They didn’t leave until Mubarak was gone. That’s some serious strength. Via Sojourners

 

3. I could just repost pretty much everything from slacktivist. Seriously. If you aren’t already, you need to read Mr. Clark. Go! Do it now! He is a genius. Here’s a taste of Evangelicals and the politics of spite:

The headline is depressingly unsurprising: “Polling Evangelicals: Cut Aid to World’s Poor, Unemployed.”

The combination of stupidity, selfishness and resentment for resentment’s sake here is an unholy abomination that makes me want to scream and throw things. And I would, if I thought screaming and throwing things would help get through to these folks, but at this point I have no idea what would get through to them. Neither facts nor faith seem to matter to them at all.

4. CJ Adams on The North Star, The Polaris Project Blog

If there is once piece of advice I could give to men who are interested in contributing their skills to the important fight against human trafficking it would be this: talk less, listen more.  (Says the guy writing a blog!)

Adams wrote a two part post How can men oppose sex trafficking? It’s easy: respect women. The above quote is from part 1. In part 2, he really calls male activists and men in general – calls me – to task.

When men start thinking that they are called to bust down the doors of brothels and rush in to save the day, they are often committing the same fundamental crime against women that human traffickers have already committed—the only difference is that instead of treating a women as if she is a thing to be sold, they are treating her as a thing to be saved.

Our goal should be to demonstrate the type of equality that will make the notion of a trade in women un-imaginable to our children.

If my male peers and I learn to respect women as we work together to end this problem, we will create a world where our daughters and sons will not be able to fathom the type of gender inequality that contributes to sex trafficking today.

Now that’s well said!

Why Fred Clark is a Genius, example 1

Check out the link to Fred Clark’s Slacktivist over to the right there. Hover over it for a moment and you’ll read that I describe Fred as my favorite blog. Here’s a link to a recent example of him displaying that “wickedly sharp wit.” In this post Fred absolutely excoriates the infuriating, pervasive smugness of a particularly embarrassing expression of “Christianity.” (Yes, in fact I do think the scare quotes are justified here. The Jesus I read in the gospels – the one I’ve come to know and love and try to follow – is the antithesis of the hegemonic pomposity of Colson et al.) Anyway, read this and get hooked on slacktivist too. It’s good for your soul.

slacktivist: The fatuous foolishness of the Manhattan Declaration.

Actually, that link is the third in a series Fred wrote on the dreadful Manhattan Declaration.

Part 1 here http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2009/11/pulling-a-lieberman.html

Part 2 here http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2009/11/dont-know-much-about-history.html