He who sings prays twice.
Saint Augustine

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Protected: Howling at the Moon

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:32 pm

«— Gravatars Enabled
—» Howling at the Moon

US Strikes Kill Civilians

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BBC NEWS | Middle East | US strikes kill ’70 Iraq rebels’

[The US military] said all the dead were militants, although eyewitnesses are quoted saying that many were civilians.

Duh. All the militants are civilians. That’s been the big issue with the present conflict: There are no uniformed combatants. Stupid journalists. Your readers are not as stupid as you are.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:58 am

«— Usage Jive
—» US Strikes Kill Civilians

Gravatars Enabled

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I have finally enabled gravatars in my comments. Get your own, or don’t. Whatever. The downside is that you have to use an email address for gravatars to work. I got around this by making a throwaway email address. On the updside, most blogs that use gravatars will never publish your email address.

If you go with the throwaway email address route, you have to be able to receive mail — at least for the initial gravatar generating process.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:45 am

«— Met. Philip Suffers Heart Attack
—» Gravatars Enabled

Usage Jive

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gibe/jibe/jive

This usage error really gets my goat. Thank you for your support of proper, standard English.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:42 am

«— Intentional Community as the Necessary Incarnation of the Gospel for Our Times
—» Usage Jive

Met. Philip Suffers Heart Attack

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His emminence, Metropolitan Philip, primate and exarch of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, has apparently suffered a heart attack. Please keep him and his flock in your prayers.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:09 pm

«— Serenity Reviewed by Orson Scott Card
—» Met. Philip Suffers Heart Attack

Intentional Community as the Necessary Incarnation of the Gospel for Our Times

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Intentional community – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I left the Roman Catholic Church after three years because I found an Eastern Orthodox intentional community that relieved the loneliness and alienation that I felt. I had read Robert Nisbet’s The Quest for Community for a political philosophy elective course around the same time that I encountered this community, so my decision to join and become Orthodox was based on a set of related convictions that:

  • individualism and community are inversely proportional to each other
  • we were meant to be, give, and receive love
  • love and community are necessary conditions for one another
  • individualism leads to alienation, love leads to belonging
  • the alienation of our culture, and the increasing alienation of each successive generation, can only be cured by a radical embrace of the Gospel, of love, and necessarily, of community

In this context, community is no longer a natural, normal thing that happens. In order to create healthy communities that enflesh the Gospel and counteract the loneliness and alienation of our times, we must be intentional about it. Intentional community, in a Christian context, is primarily about intentionally embracing values that lead to community. If we want communities that are not weak associations of coincidence but strong networks of love and support, that is a goal that must be pursued. They will not appear magically from mere hope and good will.

Paige criticizes intentional communities with a variety of informal fallacies. She begins by defining intentional communities as exclusive and then continues arguing as if this is the defining quality of intentional communities. Neither of these hasty generalizations is true of intentional communities as a whole, though they may certainly be true of a specific community. She makes another hasty generalization by arguing that because the community in which she grew up was unintentional and beneficial because of its diversity, therefore all diverse communities will be unintentional.

She puts forth (apparently as a joke) the straw man of Jim Jones and The People’s Temple as a negative example of intentional community (which it is). Ironically, “the Peoples Temple was initially structured as an inter-racial mission for the sick, homeless and jobless.”[1] The emphasis on community is undoubtedly one element of the Jonestown tragedy. Yet, like a fire which needs heat, fuel and oxygen, Jonestown probably resulted from a mix of potencies, which included Jones’ cult of personality, the community’s paranoid fear of the state and its cloistering from public life. The exact mix of factors will probably never be clear, but there are many intentional communities which have not become cults. Intentional community by itself does not lead to becoming a cult.

Her last paragraph summarizes the strongest objection to making parishes into strong intentional communities:

If someone wants to join my church but hates me, they only have to be around me like four hours a week, and even then they don’t have to talk to me. But if you’ve turned your church into an intentional community, and you get someone who doesn’t want to live in your neighborhood, hang out with you, arrange marriages between their kids and yours or whatever, are they going to feel welcome at your church?

There are several false assumptions about the nature of intentional community, but the basic objection stands: The Church is universal. What if someone just wants “church as usual” and doesn’t have what it takes to sacrificially create a loving, welcoming community. What if they live in the suburbs and just don’t want to live downtown? I think the answer lies in creating a workable solution so that parish members can opt-out of the stronger community without shame or coercion. However, another answer might be intentional communities which do not have the parish as their center.[2]

There will certainly continue to be discussion about this subject, but I doubt that the Church will acheive critical mass until there are concrete communities incarnating this idea in welcoming ways that avoid our common fears of Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:53 pm

«— Military Warns Combat Bloggers
—» Intentional Community as the Necessary Incarnation of the Gospel for Our Times

Serenity Reviewed by Orson Scott Card

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Serenity – Uncle Orson Reviews Everything

Orson Scott Card, author of Ender’s Game, gives Serenity the most thoughtful yet gushing review possible for a professional fan.

Let me put this another way. Those of you who know my work at all know about Ender’s Game. I jealously protected the movie rights to Ender’s Game so that it would not be filmed until it could be done right. I knew what kind of movie it had to be, and I tried to keep it away from directors, writers, and studios who would try to turn it into the kind of movie they think of as “sci-fi.”

This is the kind of movie that I have always intended Ender’s Game to be (though the plots are not at all similar).

And this is as good a movie as I always hoped Ender’s Game would be.

And I’ll tell you this right now: If Ender’s Game can’t be this kind of movie, and this good a movie, then I want it never to be made.

I wanted to review Serenity myself, but I may not have the time. I may still, but nothing I can say will hold a candle to what Card has to say (and he says a lot more than the quote above).

Short form: It’s about the characters, stupid! (Card, after all, did write the Writer’s Digest book on character development, Characters and Viewpoint.)

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:06 pm

«— Blogger: 404 – Page not found
—» Serenity Reviewed by Orson Scott Card

Military Warns Combat Bloggers

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Military Warns Combat Bloggers

“The enemy aggressively ‘reads’ our open source and continues to
exploit such information for use against our forces,� he wrote. “Some
soldiers continue to post sensitive information to Internet Web sites
and blogs. … Such OPSEC violations needlessly place lives at risk and
degrade the effectiveness of our operations.�

The thumb-rule given to Sailors in boot camp: “You’re here to defend liberty, not practice it.”

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:52 pm

«— Always On Your Side
—» Military Warns Combat Bloggers

Blogger: 404 – Page not found

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Blogger: 404 – Page not found

James! James? James, where are you? What’s going on?

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Filed under: — Basil @ 3:38 pm