Sometimes the truth comes out. Not often, when you’re talking about media. It’s here, though, short but not sweet. A friend sent this to me, and I hope you’ll send it on however you can. Those of us who love this country are sick at what it has become, and, as the guy in this short clip says, the first step to fixing something is to tell the truth about what’s broken.


“Sell all you have and give to the poor,” Jesus said. He didn’t say, “sell all you have and give it to me.” He didn’t say give it to my treasurer, either.

Let’s see, who was it who was the treasurer for the apostles? Oh yes, it was Judas. Big surprise, eh?

The only really big televangelist I know of who did not let himself be corrupted by a flood of money was Billy Graham, who  privately and publicly warned the televangelists that handling that much money was just asking for a fall. In his own ministry, he established a strictly arms-length relationship to the financial end of things, to save himself the temptation.

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Attention, fanatics!

September 9, 2011

Liberals! Conservatives! Libertarians! Anarchists! Followers of Chairman Mao! Members of the Hitler Youth! And any other fanatics I may have missed.

Would you please read this, published in France (as Pour en finir avec le Moyen Age) in 1977 and realize that this is just what you are doing, day in and day out!


“The study of history brings to youth the experience that is lacking to it; it can help the adolescent to overcome his most usual temptation: to be exclusive, to condemn in advance some particular tendency, person, or group; to have a vision of the universe limited only to his own vision (and if only this were a matter merely of adolescents!).”

– Regine Pernoud, Those Terrible Middle Ages: Debunking the Myths.

Fanaticism, tunnel-vision, rejection of alternative views of things, the implicit assumption that you are always right is killing us. And it’s tiresome to watch.

Oh, don’t worry, I realize that I fall into it myself. But what seems to me (erroneously perhaps) is that most of my friends consider themselves competent to judge the thought of others, and competent to avoid error. Even when I fall into that pit, it is against my grain, and I eventually struggle out again. But if you think it’s possible to be always right, and if you feel comfortable dismissing anyone whose thought diverges from yours, God help you.

Came across this study by way of the ever-helpful SchwartzReport.  The original of this article
( contains some very interesting graphics.

Global Survey of Evangelical Protestant Leaders

June 22, 2011


Although its historical roots are mostly in Northern Europe and North America, evangelical Protestantism is a global phenomenon today. In 1910, by one estimate, there were about 80 million evangelicals, and more than 90% of them lived in Europe and North America. By 2010, the number of evangelicals had risen to at least 260 million, and most lived outside Europe or North America. Indeed, the “Global South” (sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and most of Asia) is home to more evangelicals today than the “Global North” (Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand).

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The Politics of Reincarnation

February 26, 2011

From the SchwartzReport; editor Schwartz’ comments in itals.

The Politics of Reincarnation

MELINDA LIU – Newsweek


This may seem a very esoteric issue from our cultural view. But Asia sees it differently, and this has large consequences. The death of the current Dali Lama will change the game utterly and the Chinese, thanks to thousands of years of culture, can commit to and carry out a long game. Note particularly the statute outlawing the Dali Lama’s reincarnation outside of China.

Thanks to Jim Baraff.


It’s probably best not to even try making sense of Beijing’s pronouncements on the 14th Dalai Lama and other Tibetan spiritual leaders: you’ll only make your head hurt. Last week the officially atheist Chinese government’s State Administration for Religious Affairs disclosed plans to enact a new law forbidding the 75-year-old Buddhist deity to be reborn anywhere but on Chinese-controlled soil, and giving final say to Chinese authorities when the time comes to identify his 15th incarnation.

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It’s funny, I would have sworn I posted this column long ago. I must have merely sent it out to my list of friends. As a member myself of what I call The Club — that is, ex-Catholics — I found this particularly interesting. (Only, the term I am used to is not “fallen Catholic” but “fallen-away Catholic.” To me the two have a different ring, not that it matters.) A part of us needs a way to acknowledge the non-physical part of ourselves, even though our culture has tried its best to teach us (the ultimate stupidity) that material reality is all there is. A part of us knows better.

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Have you ever had a friend whose fundamental goodness shone through to such an extent that you thought of him as a saint? I had such a friend, Robert Clarke, a modest Englishman who had been brought to a state of quiet wisdom by his process of individuation  — led not only by his study of Jung but by his analysis of no fewer than 30,000 of his own dreams! We only met twice, but I always thought of him with affection, and often referred to him in my mind, without sarcasm or irony, as St. Robert.

When I learned that he was dying, I volunteered to publish three manuscripts of his, which I have just done. (Descriptions of his  three books may be found on my other website, The other day I came across one of his old emails to me, which I think give a sense of the quiet wisdom and goodness of the man, and a hint as to his deep learning.

When I showed the email to a friend, he replied, rightly, “What a wonderful, wonderful man.” As you shall see:

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