Wednesday, December 27, 2006

All Dogs MUST Go To Heaven

 The two dogs I look after are funny creatures.

I don’t particularly like dogs – if I had to choose, I would pick a feline any day of the week. They are more independent – they don’t beg for your attention, they don’t wag their tail like an animal addicted to speed, they are content lying in your lap without needing constant attention.

But these dogs, well, color me hypocritical. They have won my heart. They spend the whole day laying around and have the ability to continually be stroked and/or petted, without pause, for what I’m sure would be several days. Their high-pierced and horrible noises – what I’ve been told are commonly referred to as “barks” – routinely wake me up way before my body had been planning on rustling out of bed. When they come in out of the rain, they stink, carrying an odor that is somewhat akin to “wet dog”. Gus, in particular, has breath that could take the paint right off a Mack truck.

In short, they’re dogs.

And I love them. I don’t know why, but I’ll miss them, too, when I get on the plane back to Chicago.

Maybe that’s what I’m missing. Someone who will always be excited to see me, and always be ready to show me some love. It’s like a relationship without all that extra stuff, those annoying and unnecessary aspects, like sharing the same species and having to talk to each other.

Sign me up!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I Know, I Know

Whoa! It’s been way too long. But I will not let this thing die…

But, let’s be honest. It’s the day after Christmas; I’m back in Texas after finals, Pastor Lori’s installation, and service after service after service.

What is there to say?

I leave for the Holy Land on January 5th. I’m sure THAT will get me to write.

Peace to you and yours…


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Rushing to Peace

Why do we fight? I’ve just watched a documentary of the same name. I have heard many answers in my life, sometimes from members of my family who have been – and continue to be – part of our country’s military.

“We fight to preserve our freedom.” That, or things like that, are said. Over and over and over again. When we bombed houses in Afghanistan and Iraq, this is what was said. We didn’t fight for oil, or for American interests and defense contracts, or for what Dwight Eisenhower called “the military-industrial complex.” We continue to fight for freedom.

If this is questioned, in any way, it becomes a matter of pride – an emotional attack. I still cannot argue with my dad about Iraq War II today because of the inevitable emotional tie-ins to Vietnam, where he served in the Navy. He will not have his struggle, the death of friends and those close to him, be in vain. It all must have been for SOMETHING.

I am not talking about our motives in this current war, or for the lies that have been passed down from this current administration regarding that war. I’m not even talking about the effectiveness of war, or the theological basis for it.

I would just say this: War has become such a part of our culture that it is never even questioned. When it is – when one million people flood the streets to protest war – it’s seen as a nuisance at best, inappropriate and treasonous at worst. Anti-American. Subversive. If you protest war, you are showing disdain for the millions who support their family through military jobs.

I can honestly say I do no such thing. I just think that the taking of human life should be scrutinized much more, and that any action which could lead to this outcome has to be questioned. Again and again and again. Why can’t peace be the default?

How can we call ourselves Christians unless it is?