Liberal Mind

why is it so hard to do the right thing?

Monday, February 13, 2006

What's it like...?

To put the message out to the world...from anywhere? Mobile blogging is the coolest thing since the self published craze of blogging.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Social concerns about conservatives and the religious right?

An article in Sunday’s NY Times and an article on USAToday online go right to the heart of what should be a social concern to mainstream America. The first article was about christian schools suing the California university system for having to meet the same standards as public and non-christian schools in curriculum requirements. The christian schools are up in arms that their adapted curriculum (christian revisionist for the modern world) is not accepted alongside accredited curriculum utilized by 90+ percent of American schools. The university system responds that it is not the christian school so much as the adaptation of the curriculum. The perfect example is teaching “intelligent design” instead of evolution. While evolution has decades of established study and science these schools remove it from their course study and replace it with unproven philosophy. The slippery slope here is that if the university system adapts it’s standards for curriculum and admission it will certainly soon after be challenged to include “intelligent design” in it’s science courses of study. In fairness to christians and their beliefs “intelligent design” certainly does belong in religious studies and philosophy classes, alongside Bhuddist beliefs, Islamic studies and Jewish mysticism.

The second article covered statements by the leader of the largest branch of American Judaism strongly criticizing the religious right in the US stating “religious right leaders believe ‘unless you attend my church, accept my God and study my sacred text you cannot be a moral person’." He continued by stating "What could be more bigoted than to claim that you have a monopoly on God?". Of course this portrays the christian conservative movement so accurately. It is the type of ethnocentrism that drives the angry, divisive wedge between the US and the rest of the world. This reminds of an unremarkable Chris Rock movie where he ends up running for president. In the movie Chris Rock’s incumbent opponent ends all of his speeches with the line ”God bless America and no one else.“ Love that...it captures perfectly the mentality displayed by our country’s religious right/conservative movement.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Saturday Reading

I have been catching up on my reading (piles of books and magazines) and spent the better part of my afternoon reading Michael Berg’s “Becoming Like God”. It is a rather modern approach to Kabbalah that gives you a 3 hour course in re-aligning your life with God. While the approach was a little too fantastic and “in your face” it did make strong and persuasive points about our priorities in this modern world. After reading the book I was left with the impression that my focus is ego-centered and that my spiritual path was more meandering than God-seeking. I am admonished (not so much by the content as by the thoughtfulness the book inspired) to read more meaningfully and focus on God at the center of things.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What is missing?

The nature of my days at work...the demands of my job...the desire to be the best man I can be for my family...leaves me occupied, pre-occupied, at times exhausted. When I stop to consider the content, pace, focus of my life, I can see the missing component. I am godless...not paying attention to my soul’s longing for peace I have experienced focused on doing the right thing...living with God in mind.

It is amazing how easy it is to stray from the path you know is the only path to satisfaction...happiness. From the moment I realized that my Jewish faith...my awareness of God...my belief in God...were the one certainty of my life, I have had no doubt in what was right or about the existence of my higher power.

So easy to recognize, to embrace for that immediate relief, comfort...So hard to live in that recognition, faith.

I am sure I could be mistaken as fundamentalist when I say that the shortcomings in my spiritual life are representative of the troubles in the world. Please don’t mistake my conclusion as fundamentalist leanings. I can only say that what I witness is the desperate need in this world for LOVE, compassion, empathy...the desire to do the right thing...what our higher power wants for us, right? God, please, bless us and this world we live in.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Iran and nuclear arms...

Reading the New York Times today I came across an article about Iran and the worlds’ suspicion that Iran was developing a nuclear weapon. The article inspired some fearful and incredulous thoughts at the same time. Fearful: Iran has demonstrated a generally angry view of the western world and of Israel more specifically. With slogans like “death to the western imperialists” and “death to Israel” you cannot help but wonder what Iran would do with the product of a successful nuclear weapons program. A little scary, right? Incredulous: With India and Pakistan, most recently, demonstrating their successful nuclear weapons programs you have to agree with Iran that they (Iran) would have as much a right, as a sovereign nation, to pursue a program of their own. The problem for Iran is that an earlier, less radical and certainly more pro-west, government had signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty in 1970. This is, I am sure, the collateral the west (and the United States) will use to try to stifle Iran’s nuclear desires.

Because of my pacifist leanings I am inclined to agree with international community’s desire to hold all nations to the nonproliferation standard. I do not believe any country would be justified in this pursuit. I also believe that as a country (the United States) and as an international community we must apply our dissenting pressure evenly with the Pakistans and Indias as much as the Irans of the world. I also think that, for credibility’s sake, the U.S. should let the international community develop further and confirm any intelligence we might bring to the table. Because of our failure to prove weapons of mass destruction in Iraq I believe we need to swallow our pride and be a willing partner to the international community’s nonproliferation efforts.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Great Movie

Watched a wonderful, modern family movie (you know...with the modern family dynamics) with my wife and daughter tonight...Spanglish...starring Adam Sandler, Tea Leoni, Cloris Leachman and a wonderfully beautiful actress I had not seen before, Paz Vega. Such a wonderful movie, full of emotion, typical but painful conflict and the perfect display of the burden of adult choices. I would recommend this movie to anyone to anyone with a mind of their own and a heart.

The characters and issues are so real and pertinent to our lives and families. You can only imagine you, yourself dealing with your children or spouse and these emotional, day to day problems.

Hmmmm...a change in direction...

With free time limited by the necessary professional ambitions I am forced to relegate my blog to the sanity preserving role of journal. I am sure my opinions will pop up...making themselves known as I continue to witness the world through my liberally tinted glasses.