In The Beginning…. And Then…

2016-03-20_11-22-18.pngIn the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He created the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and the beasts of the land.  And then he created man,  and it was down hill from there on out….

Forgive me that this is not an exact quote from any bible but for the purpose of this post you get the idea where I am going.

The very first family that God made ended up with a murderer. One brother killing another. That wasn’t a very good start to humanity. It seems that the seven deadly sins were created at the very beginning.

A few generations down the line God threw up his hands and decided to start over again. Not with everything, just with people. He was determined to get it right this time but it is obvious he didn’t make much of an improvement the second time around either. I know all the theologians can give thousands of reasons for it that don’t challenge the idea of God’s perfection. They have honed that skill through a couple of millennia. If you work on something long enough you will eventually cam come up with enough excuses to rationalize almost anything you want.  I’m talking about the theologians here not God.

It kind of make me wander, if things were so perfect  before man came along and he is made in the image of God just what kind of shape is God himself in? Now before any of you start flaming me I am saying this in 90% jest. And then there is the other 10%.. 😉

To keep things in perspective I take the bible as a collection of stories about man’s relationship with God. The absolute truth thing came much later by human theologians. That keeps me from having to make up excuses for God and how his creation turned out.  I kind of think that God did get all this started in some fashion but then he left it up to us to carry on from there.

Another aspect of the bible being stories is that it is kind of like “Downton Abbey” which was such a hit on  PBS recently.  It was about British Aristocracy and the distinct divide between the ruling class and everyone else.  The story line was fascinating but anyone who know much about it realizes that it showed almost exclusively the fairy tale side of British life in those years.   The bible is kind of like that, it tells the good side for the most part but eventually some of the bad stuff shows up to confuse things.

The Bible is certainly an interesting book to try to read…

 

I’m Dreaming About … Folk Music

I guess you could say that folk music is an acquired taste and it seems to have fallen out of favor these days. In my earlier hearing years I almost lived and breathed folk music.  One of the original founders of that music genre was Woody Guthrie and one of my favorite museums is the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa OK. The museum is small but packed with the archive of all his music.

Woody Guthrie-2.jpg

 

His most famous song “This Land Is Your Land” should be our national anthem. It relates more to the character of America than a naval battle some one hundred fifty years ago.

Bill Gates: ‘we need an energy miracle’ to tackle climate change

I like the words below from Bill Gates but I especially like his optimism about being able to solve this huge problem.  The evidence of climate change continues to stack up in huge piles. The first step in solving this problem is to admit that we have a problem and that will take an about-face from one side of our political system. The GOP has been stuck in the adversarial mode here for as long as I can remember. Eventually they will have to  say “I was wrong” and that is an extremely difficult thing for any politician to admit. They see admitting to error as a weakness whereas I, and hopefully many others, see it as a strength.  It means that you listen to the facts and adjust your beliefs based on them.

2016-03-24_12-13-23.pngIn short, we need an energy miracle.

When I say ‘miracle,’ I don’t mean something that’s impossible. I’ve seen miracles happen before. The personal computer. The Internet. The polio vaccine. None of them happened by chance. They are the result of research and development and the human capacity to innovate.

In this case, however, time is not on our side. Every day we are releasing more and more CO2 into our atmosphere and making our climate change problem even worse. We need a massive amount of research into thousands of new ideas—even ones that might sound a little crazy—if we want to get to zero emissions by the end of this century.

SOURCE:  Bill Gates: ‘we need an energy miracle’ to tackle climate change | The Verge.

I can’t think of anything in this world that has been stuck in the same mode as our energy use has. We have been dependent on fossil fuels for well over a century now and with our ever increasing demand for more energy we are in big trouble if we don’t have a paradigm shift in this area.  We need to quickly adapt a better energy source before it is too late.

Solar.jpgIt is encouraging to see that solar and wind power have been increasing so much in the recent years. During our annual treks across this great country I see more and more wind turbines on the landscape. But even till now they only meeting a small percentage of our needs. We need a paradigm shift to make that happen. One way to do that is to make fossil fuels pay for the costs it is doing to our world. Let’s put a $3 tax on every gallon of gas and use the money gained for more alternative energy research.

I was happy to see that President Obama recently announced a ten year challenge to beat cancer. I just hope that some future president will do the same for alternative energy but do it sooner in his/her administration.

 

How Christianity explains Trump

To me a Red Letter Christian, I can’t begin to understand why so many self-proclaimed Christians so adamantly support Donald Trump. He just seems like the antithesis of Christian principles.  But then I remember that there are about 40,000 different versions of Christianity out there today. One of the most damaging in my mind is the “Prosperity Gospel” as proclaimed by the popular televangelist Joel Osteen.  Here is the quote of the day about that..

There’s a puzzle in Trump’s success at the polls. He’s winning self-described evangelical voters. And yet, Christians who attend church regularly are overwhelmingly anti-Trump. Part of the explanation is that there’s never been a clear definition of what an “evangelical” is. By its nature, evangelicalism is a decentralized phenomenon, and evangelicals proudly don’t have an institutional church, let alone a pope or a magisterium. Someone who “gave his life to Jesus” at a summer camp when he was 15 but doesn’t go to church and doesn’t read the Bible can still call himself “evangelical” to a pollster….

2016-03-11_08-21-11.pngThe prosperity gospel is one of the most vibrant heresies in America today… But one of America’s most powerful religious leaders is undoubtedly Joel Osteen, who is a prosperity preacher. It’s obvious why someone taken in by the prosperity gospel would see no glaring contradiction between Trump’s assertion that he’s a “very strong Christian” and his gaudy lifestyle and ostentatious wealth.

In fact, if you’re aware of the profound hold that such heresies have on many people, Trump looks less like an aberration than the incarnation of those heresies. Trump looks like the incarnation of a presidential candidate for a formerly Christian culture that sometimes likes to think of itself as Christian, but worships money and power instead of Jesus.

SOURCE:  How Christianity explains Trump.

Worshiping money and power is way to prevalent in our society today even by those who have little of either but think that someday they might. One of the most powerful forces driving many in this country today is greed. Too many simply refuse to acknowledge there is any thing called the public good. They are so fixated on  keeping others away from their economic gains.  Their main mantra seems to be “keep your hands out of my pocket”.

One of Jesus’ primary lessons is that we are all our brother’s keeper. We are in this world together and it is our responsibility to live that fact.  Then there is the secular side of the same coin. In order to maintain public prosperity it is necessary for all of us to contribute to the infrastructure of our society.  We must all pitch in when it comes to the public good. We must all help pay for our roads, our institutions, our society’s health.

It just seems that too many today have forgotten these lessons in life…