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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Monday, May 28, 2007

On the dialectics between morality, religion, and selective reading

"If you're going to draw your to-do list out of a book like Leviticus, you're going to make Mullah Omar, of the Taliban, look like Franklin Delano Roosevelt. ... Even our fundamentalists have effectively edited the bible by their neglect of many of its pasages."

That's Sam Harris from a lecture posted at OneGoodMove. His point is one of the basic reasons I have such a problem with the "I know what's right because God wrote it down" crowd. Even fundamentalism requires selective reading. And once you've decided you can ignore one chapter or verse of God's word, what's to say you can't ignor other bits? At which point, are you really embracing it as God's command?

Also from the good folks at OneGoodMove, last month, this clip from The West Wing. It's the same basic point. It's been made with this particular angle before -- I remember the same kind of riff being thrown at radio talk-show host Laura Schlesinger a while back -- but it's rarely been done this well.

And it deserves to be done again and again.

I only wish the President, played by Martin Sheen, had mentioned that the word Leviticus uses to condemn homosexuality is the same word used to condemn eating shellfish: "abomination". So, in the eyes of the Lord, shrimp scampi = sodomy.


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