Random Musings

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Just throwin’ it out there

Theology & Political Philosophy

As someone who strongly believes that faith is political, I haven’t given much thought to my own political philosophy. Rather, I’ve focused more on how my faith might apply from issue to issue. Given that my own theology is influenced by theologies of liberation, on most issues I’m much more in step with the Democratic party, at least in the context of American politics.

But the problem without having a guiding political philosophy is that at times I find myself having a tribal mentality in regards to my party affiliation. This tribal mentality is cancerous in that it becomes more about exerting a sense of moral superiority and an overemphasis on political tactics of “winning” rather than real attempts to reach some mutual understanding with those who think and feel differently. It can also lead to an inability for self-reflection and critique, which is damaging in so many ways.

So over the next few posts, I’ll attempt to work out my own political philosophy and I’ll see where it takes me.

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Outraged

There is no longer any doubt that the U.S. government deliberately and knowlingly tortured detainees. TORTURED. I cannot believe that there is so little outrage over this. I cannot believe that our current president cannot even bring himself to use the word TORTURE in reference to the interrogation tactics of the previous administration. This is unfuckingbelievable.

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Why I Blog

There are many motivations for why a person blogs. I’m not going to get into those reasons, only to say that I didn’t start this blog as a way of updating people about the details of my everyday life. Now a-person-who-shall-remain-nameless recently sent me a message asking me, “why doth thou need to blog?  doth though need to feel heard in thou vast open world?”

My answer to this is no. I have no need to feel heard by a vast open world. For starters I doubt the vast open world cares about my life. Secondly, I have no need to feel heard by those who have no relationship with me. My blog isn’t even allowed to be Google-able. However, if for some reason some stranger stumbles upon my blog and cares about what I say, then I welcome them.

I did start blogging as a means of communicating with friends and family who have expressed some desire to know what I am thinking about these days, but am not in frequent contact enough with for consistent dialogue to otherwise be possible. It’s not so much that what I have to say is all that  meaningful or original, but that what I’ve had to say has invited other people to join in discourse about issues and ideas that they’d normally not be invited to think about or discuss. And the blogs I’ve enjoyed have done that for me.

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Reformed and Always to Be Reformed

This spring semester I finally got around to taking the Calvin seminar, a man I had previously credited with sucking the joy out of the church that I grew up in. I won’t go into too much detail, but my distaste for Calvin didn’t so much come from reading Calvin himself, but rather with his indirect association with the Westminster Confession of Faith (my least favorite Reformed Confession), which was oppressively held over me as if it contained all the secrets to faith and life (it doesn’t). But as I’ve been able to distinguish Calvin from Calvinism, I’ve found him to be much more engaging than I ever thought possible. But man, some Calvinists and Reformed folk just kill all the fun. It really is amazing what happens to a successful dissenting tradition when it becomes the dominant tradition. The liberative spirit behind the theology is quickly lost and all that is preserved is its written form which becomes the new oppressive dogma. What was once life-giving and freeing has been turned into something that strangles and constrains. To me this is proof that any particular experience or understanding of God’s grace in a certain time and circumstance is always in danger of being mistaked for being the whole of God’s grace and thereby becoming tantamount to idolatry. Same goes for biblical interpretation. I think Calvin would agree.

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Hello world!

Well this is the very first post of my blog. Welcome for those friends and strangers that have found it.

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