Saturday, June 12, 2010

Before It Goes In The Packing Box . . .

I'm getting ready to put Quote, Unquote* in a box where it will sit for a few weeks until it reappears, I hope, in the new parsonage in Plato Center. I thought I would offer some gems (not always safe for work!) without comment.

We can be of little service to our fellows until we become disillusioned without being embittered. - F. Fraser Darling

Without the friendship of the Happy Dead, how should we bear our life? - wall plaque, Stillingfleet Church, North Yorkshire

It's nothing that a guy should take all of his emotions, his prayers and meditations into a night club, and torture the people with their torments by playing everything they feel. It would be better sometimes to play some things they imagine to be true, outside their own personal lives. - Charles Mingus

I'd cross an Alp to see a village idiot of quality. - Norman Douglas

When shit becomes valuable, the poor will be born without assholes. - Brazilian proverb

Few people have the imagination for reality - Goethe

Art never seems to make me peaceful or pure. - Willem deKoonig

What dull barbarians are not proud of their dullness and barbarism? - William Makepeace Thackeray

There are no wrong notes. - Thelonius Sphere Monk

Poetry is nobody's business except the poet's, and everybody else can fuck off. - Philip Larkin

Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. - Harry S. Truman

*Seventy bucks for a book I was given? If it wasn't so important to me, I'd be willing to sell it for that price!


(h/t Crooked Timber)

In Ireland to receive the Ulysses Prize from the University College Dublin, Jurgen Habermas sat for an interview on a variety of topics, printed in today's Irish Times. Among them is Habermas' growing interest in the social phenomenon of religion, in particular in secularized western nation-states.
I associate this sociological observation [i.e., that religion continues to be a vital force in those societies where it was formerly considered to be dying out] with a diagnosis of a more philosophical kind. Secularly minded people should recognise religion as a contemporary intellectual formation. Over the past two millennia, western philosophy has repeatedly borrowed images, meanings and concepts from the Judaeo-Christian tradition and has translated them into its own secular language. We cannot tell whether this process of appropriation has run its course or whether, on the contrary, other semantic potentials remain untapped. Of course, such a receptive and dialogical relation is only possible towards non-fundamentalist traditions that do not close themselves off from the modern world.

In the last sentence, Habermas betrays a certain ignorance of the history of Christian thought. In fact, "fundamentalism" is a modern reaction, the flip-side of the modernist tendencies of critical Scriptural studies and the challenge of doing Christian theology with integrity in the modern world. The history of fundamentalism is short, can be traced pretty clearly in both popular and more refined forms back to no earlier than the mid- to late-19th century, and is not so much closed to our contemporary world as part of a larger protest against elite demands for "progress" that span the ideological, cultural, and social spectrum.

Having said that, I am pleased that a leading liberal European intellectual of our time recognizes the reality that, as a human phenomenon, religion in some manner, fashion, or form, continues to live on even in those places where it had once thought to be atrophying. I continue to be wary of Habermas' insistence that "dialog" needs to be done on terms amenable to a certain contemporary sensibility, precluding "fundamentalism" from the get-go without, necessarily, defining what constitutes that. A professed belief, say, in the bodily resurrection of Jesus might just be thought to be "fundamentalist", therefore outside the bounds of consideration. Rather than submit a priori to the intellectual imperialism that would demand the sacrifice of faith for the promise of scraps from the contemporary intellectual table, it might just be possible to have a discussion that insists the modern, contemporary world and its intellectual and existential pretension are, at heart, questionable propositions.

Indeed, the idea of "post-secular" itself presents the same kind of problem as "post-modern". Does not the presence of a variety of religious communities, and their growing social and political influence, negate the whole secularization thesis?

I think it was Bruno Latour who wrote a book entitled We Have Never Been Modern, arguing against the appellation "post-modern" by insisting that "modernism" was, for the most part, not a term easily applied in a variety of senses. I think "secular" and "post-secular" kind of deserve the same fate. Rather than attempt to draw any final conclusions concerning the potential of religious life and ideas and their relative social and political import, it might just be necessary to consider them as part of the larger, ongoing human project, waxing and waning in importance over time.

Note: Edited to clear up a tendentious point made by a commenter, to clarify and sharpen my point, and to simplify my argument. I hope . . .

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hear The Good News

N.B. I got to thinking last night that, in over 2,000 posts, I have yet to make a positive statement concerning the Gospel. So, well, in light of me saying that one person got it wrong, I should proclaim it here. At least, then, should anyone care, I have something to point to.

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that everyone who has faith in him may not perish but have eternal life. It was not to judge the world that God sent his Son into the world, but that through hum the world might be saved.
John 3:16-17, REB

All this has been the work of God. He has reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has enlisted us in the this ministry of reconciliation: God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, no longer holding people's misdeed against them, and has entrusted us with the message of reconciliation.
2 Cor 5:18-19

This is the Gospel of God, the Good News of the reconciliation of the world with God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the boundless, free gift of God through the Spirit.

Separated from God through sin - not moral failing, but broken relationship - not just we who are bearers of this message of peace, of love, of hope, but all creation now stands under the judgment of God in Christ, that judgment being just this - that death no longer holds sway, that love for one another and all creation is the sum of the law. This work is not ours. This Word is not ours, but the free and gracious gift of the God who has sought us and bought us. Our ministry, our work, is to live for the world in such a way that all creation knows just this and this alone - in God we are free, free from sin, free from the bondage of death, free from the fear of condemnation.

Faith in this new reality - a new reality that is already alive in us at our baptism - gives us strength to take to all the world the message that God calls us to live together in light of this Divine forbearance and favor. Our work is nothing more or less than living out this reality yet to come, to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit for all creation to witness.

That's the Good News. God loves us. In Jesus, the incarnate Son of the Father, united in the love of the Spirit, creation no longer exists in defiance of the creator's will and favor, but is already moving toward that moment when the will and love and hope of God for that which God has made will be made new in us and the world.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Just . . . Wow (UPDATE)

Very long story very short - I discovered that Neil called me "a gutless windbag." Along with his usage of the term "passive-aggressive" in ways that clearly shows he has no idea what the term means, and (as Alan pointed out) the whole "straw man alert!" thing, I find his pretensions quite amusing.

Considering his practice of editing and even deleting comments, then banning people from commenting on his blog altogether, to call me a gutless windbag actually made me laugh. He even gets points for "straw man!" alerts. See, he claims that I raised a straw man because I called him out for dissing Chuck Currie and the UCC for "getting the Gospel wrong" by wondering if by that Neil means that the UCC doesn't hate on gays and endorse the murder of the preborn. Neil insists this is "a straw man!" when, if you peruse his "discussion" you don't read a word about the grace of Jesus Christ crucified and risen (the totality of the Gospel according to some guy who wrote all those letters in the Bible and got a city in Minnesota named after him for his troubles). In fact, I'll let you read and be the judge for yourselves. Ahem.
Yes, but the UCC gets the Gospel wrong. The Gospel is that Jesus died for our sins and rose again and that by trusting in him we get forgiveness and eternal life

OK, this one mention of the Gospel is actually wrong (and attempting to cite 1 Corinthians 15 in defense of this position is a serious misreading of that chapter, but I digress).
That’s odd, because Chuck and the UCC are pro-abortion. They deny the human personhood of the unborn. They won’t protect the unborn from being crushed and dismembered but shake their fists at God in support of perverting his ideal for marriage. But they care so much about "human personhood" that they must bless what God has called sinful?

The Bible is very clear:

* 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
* 100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
* 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
* 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

Um, Gospel anyone? No?

I raised a point that Neil was upset because the UCC didn't mention hating on gays and worshipping the preborn, and he called that a "straw man" argument. Yet, well, here are his words.

He also references, at a point not linked, this year-and-a-half old discussion we had, ripping a comment out of context to show me up as (a) a hypocrite; and (b) a false teacher. As for hypocrisy, well, we all are to a certain extent, and if that is the worst thing I ever get called, well, I can live with it. The whole "false teacher" thing, though, considering his mischaracterization of the Gospel, and the attempt to draw 1 Corinthians 15 in to a defense of this misinterpretation, I think Neil might just need to think before he types.

The biggest thing, for me, is the point where Chuck Currie, managing far more magnanimity and grace than Neil could ever understand, comments, and Neil goes on to call him a serial liar.

Having his ego, I'm quite sure he'll show up here and show how wrong I am, etc., etc. I'll let him, because unlike him, I don't edit, delete, or ban comments or commenters. I guess that's because I'm gutless.

UPDATE: Alerted by Alan, I finally found Neil's other place where he pretty much farms out his whole "false teacher" schtick. And, may I say, the holy and blessed fetus has pride of place.

And the guy says the UCC gets the gospel wrong. Nowhere is the old saw about lies travel around the world before truth gets out the door more in evidence. At least I now know another place to avoid.


There are moments we all have, I think, that we do more than collapse our face in to the palm of one of our hands and think to ourselves, "Oh, good God!". We might encounter something so grossly stupid that, in our mind's eye, our brain now rests in the palms of our hands, and we whisper to ourselves, "There, there. It's OK, really."

Such just happened as I read Peter Singer's review of South African philosopher David Benatar's Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence. In all honesty, I'm not sure which is more stupid, the very existence of a book arguing that existence itself is a morally negative choice, or a review which takes the view seriously enough to draw up a counter-argument.

This is the kind of thing that gives philosophy a bad name. Really. I have nothing against this kind of thing in a graduate seminar; to publish it, to offer an argument that, precisely because existence involves suffering to some degree or another, non-existence is actually a better moral choice than existence is just, well, silly.

While it is true that there are those, many perhaps, whose existence involves extensive suffering - consider children born with extremely debilitating disorders, such as anencephalia, or even something like spina bifida. Or a child born HIV+. Or a child born in to a family, community, or whole nation defined by desperate poverty. Does "suffering" define the entirety of their existence? I cannot imagine that it does. There are, to be sure, those who choose to define their lives that way. Such may even be the case.

Yet, they do, indeed exist. Whether it's a child born with a rare condition in which their brain develops outside their skulls, or a young man who was once active and athletic who suffers a traumatic injury leaving him a quadriplegic, or a woman raised in a home filled with domestic violence who grows up and continues the cycle by marrying an abusive man, subjecting yet another generation to the cycle of violence - these cases (some, admittedly, more common than others) do not negate the simple fact, because these people exist they should be the center of our ethical concern. Rather than figuring out how to argue that it would have been preferable they never existed at all - the George Bailey Syndrome - we should be figuring out how to alleviate their suffering. That and that alone should be the focus of our ethical concern.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

My Last Word On Biblical Sexual Ethics (UPDATE)

There are times when one reaches the end of one's tether. Last night, I reached mine.
Again, I know I shouldn't . . .

Bubba wrote: "Dan, I'm only now noticing that you're actually defending masturbation as biblically permissible.

It leads me to wonder what sexually deviant behavior you wouldn't defend. "

Masturbation is a sexually deviant behavior, Bubba? Really? A young person, usually quite by accident, discovers that certain actions are physically pleasurable, outside any moral or other context, and you without any warrant of which I'm aware, dare to declare that person deviant.

BTW - please spare me the treatise on how you're right and I'm wrong, because (a) I won't read it; and (b) since I have yet, in my forty-plus years of reading the Bible found anything close to a declaration that masturbation is sexually deviant, I think I'll just let it rest there; and (c) if any of you would actually read what you type - that masturbation is deviant; that gay folks don't love, just lust; that touching yourself violates the equipment manual, but having your spouse do it is fine; that two men marrying is a path to perdition - you might actually realize that anyone NOT of the same ideological bent as you (and some who are!) might just think you are quite out of your collective minds.

You are all far more concerned with sex in its various forms than I, we, and certainly God has ever been. Let us have our deviant sex in peace, and we can all go about our business here.

Please note, dear readers that what prompted this outburst of frustration and dismissal was the declaration that masturbation is sexually deviant. Even typing that little phrase here and now, I cannot, for the life of me, understand how an adult human being can think, let alone live, with that thought as an operating principle.

Please note also that I asked one person - Bubba - who has a habit of writing multi-comment responses to spare his fingers the necessity of typing because whatever he said would be unread. Well, not only does he think most adolescents are sexually deviant, he apparently refused to listen because he went on and, well, you guessed it:


"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell." - Mt 5:17-20, 27-30


"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." - Ex 20:17


These aren't obscure passages, and if a person has studied the Bible for forty years and hasn't noticed these passages or discerned the implications for the lust that accompanies all but the must naive and mechanical forms of masturbation, then he's beyond help.

Geoffrey concludes by revealing both his ignorance of God and an arrogance that borders on self-idolatry.

"You are all far more concerned with sex in its various forms than I, we, and certainly God has ever been. Let us have our deviant sex in peace, and we can all go about our business here."

God has made clear that He made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife. He prohibited both from committing adultery and even from coveting a neighbor's wife; if that wasn't clear enough, when He came down and dwelt among us, God Incarnate taught that mere thoughts of lust are as evil as adulterous acts.

To suggest that his sexual behavior is his own business beyond even the judgment of God Almighty, and to imply that God is apathetic about his sexual behavior is to clearly step outside Christian ethics and the Bible's clear teachings.

Geoffrey, about your wanting to be left in peace, no one's stopping you from doing whatever you want, certainly not in this debauched age.

We're just proclaiming what is to be found in God's written word, in the Scripture that Christ Himself affirmed to the smallest penstroke, and we just expect that those who claim to worship God would show some small sign of submission to His revealed will.

If that bothers you so much, maybe you should find a more libertine faith tradition.

Let me state from the outset that, sure, the Bible isn't exactly in favor of folks humping in the streets. I will admit there isn't a verse that says that men having sexual relations is on the up and up. Adultery is surely a no-no.

Here's the thing. Figuring out "what the Bible says" - whether it's about sex, or economics, or suicide, or war and peace, or whatever one's pet peeve/issue may be - is more a game than serious intellectual or spiritual inquiry. It's a game played by those who want God on their side. Whether that side is in favor of stoning people to death for being belligerent with their parents, or setting aside a life of violence in favor of love and justice, there is ample Biblical, textual support for these positions. It's easy enough to find Scriptural support for just about anything, even opposing positions that cancel one another out! That's why it's a game.

Sexual ethics are no different.

There is a way to do Biblical interpretation that isn't a kind of hunt-and-peck searching for a bunch of verses that bolster one's own prejudices and predispositions. It involves, in the first instance, being clear what the Bible is about. It isn't a rule-book for living. It isn't a set of timeless laws that mean the same thing to all readers everywhere.

It is, rather, the testimony of witnesses to God's relationship with Creation. It is the declaration that God does, indeed, love that which God has created, even as that creation has sought to break free from the Creator. It is the remarkable declaration that this love is so prodigal, so boundless, that God is willing, in the Person of the Son, to enter fully in to the life of creation and even surrender that which is most defining about Divinity - Life - in order to bring Creation back in to a full relationship with God.

Now, every ordered community has rules. These rules exist for any number of reasons, usually boiling down to "these are the best way to keep a group of human beings from killing one another." Rules against adultery, for example, keep men from killing other men, or their wives, because of unfaithfulness. Rules regarding sexual conduct in general stem as much from community concern over its continuation as anything else. As a professor Hebrew Scripture pointed out, the injunction against homosexual conduct in Leviticus makes sense if you consider that it addresses the necessity of preserving reproductive viability in a community - the ancient Hebrews - living a marginal existence. While humorous, the song from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, "Every Sperm is Sacred", actually applies here. Men wasting their vigor with one another are not contributing to the on-going life of the future of the community, a community already under various environmental and political stresses. Insisting that sexual relations contribute to new generations of this community makes sense. Putting that insistence in the mouth of God gives it a force that common sense might not otherwise do.

Does this mean we are free to ignore the Levitical injunction against two men lying together? It sits there, in the pages of the Bible, and certainly needs to be wrestled with, along with many other passages whose ethical utility is even more marginal. In a general sense, however, raising this single verse - and the handful of verses that refer even circuitously to homosexual sex - to any place of prominence makes them far more important to any discussion of sexual ethics than they ever had either historically or to the original audience. More to the point, the question that needs to be asked - and always asked in new ways, by new voices - is how do we live with these verses in light of the faith that God's love for us, for all creation as it is is greater than our attempts to corral that love in to new rules? Do we restrain love just because it is love between two women? Do we insist that God does not bless the marriage between two men, even though the Biblical warrant for monogamous marriage is more an assumption than anything one can attest from any direct scriptural evidence (considering the prevalence in the Hebrew Scripture of both plural marriage and concubinage, one wonders how those folks who argue most vociferously about monogamy square those circles; on the other hand, not really).

If one begins with the premise that living a life of graced acceptance means living for others, then much of the discussion of sexual ethics becomes a question of living as sexual beings in such a way that all of us together are more fully human in that capacity as in others. It also means putting sexuality in its proper place in human life. To be sure, it is an important part of being human; it binds relations between spouses and partners. It is the source of new generations. It is an expression of love and the bonds between two people. Yet, it is hardly even the most important part of that bond; nor is it a defining part of being a part of a larger community. The right-wing obsession with sexual ethics creates a situation in which it becomes far more important (to them) than it is in human life.

So, this is the last time (I swear) I will address the question of human sexuality from a Biblical perspective. Beyond these general statements, addressing specific questions - whether of serious matters such as adultery or ridiculous matters such as the moral status of self-pleasuring - is something I just refuse to do. Except to say that these right-wingers seem far more interested in the way other people live their lives in private than most adult human beings of healthy disposition.

UPDATE: Of all people, Mark not only ends the discussion, but inadvertently makes it clear that he really doesn't think gay marriage is a threat to all things bright and beautiful.
For the record, I, personally, am neutral on same sex marriage. I really don't care if these perverts want to pretend they are married. I believe they are not married in the eyes of God. Just because some laws here in the U.S. say they are, doesn't make it true.


They want to be homo, let them be homo. I don't care.

If you don't care whether or not they are gay, and don't care if gay marriage is legal, it seems to me that the entire discussion, including Mark's participation arguing against gay marriage, is void. If he doesn't care whether or not people want to "be homo", my most fervent wish is that he would practice this insouciance and shut the hell up.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Speechless (UPDATE)

I urgently wish that anyone wanting insight in to the "mind" of our modern conservative read this. From the title right through the comments, this is the biggest bunch of hokum, nonsense, BS, and downright silliness I have read since yesterday. It surpasses the whole "touch your own penis and spend eternity in hell!" business because it makes all sorts of sweeping generalizations and accusations because the guy writing the post was inconvenienced on a country road.

Yeah. This guy again.

Rather than address any "points" in his "argument", I just say that the level of his rage continues to rise. If you live in the Fredericksburg, VA area, you might want to stay indoors because when this guy flips his lid, I don't think you want to be in the line of fire.

UPDATE: OK, now I've had some thoughts . . .

When I was growing up, my parents taught me that those who bragged usually did so because, inside, they really felt inadequate in some way. Life experience has shown me the basic truth of this insight. Anyone who brags about his manliness, his achievements as a lover, what have you, usually is hiding a mass of insecurities behind a bunch of words.

A blog post calling the whole country a bunch of wimps probably means the person who wrote it fears, more than anything else, that he is a wimp.

A blog post insisting that exercise is unhealthy is usually written by those who need to incorporate exercise in to their lives.

A blog post saying that the ignorance of our ancestors is superior to the knowledge of our current age in regard to healthy diet usually means the person in question eats an unhealthy diet.

Hiding behind a Mittyesque pose of excessive intelligence and masculinity is, in all probability, an excessive fear of ignorance and effeminate qualities.

I hate armchair psychoanalyzing but in a case like this, I really don't know how else to square what is happening. This entire post reeks of psychological baggage.


Via Media Matters For America:
Right-wing Mad Libs: [Insert event] is Obama's [insert catastrophe]

Let's try some. "High School Graduation is Obama's Jonestown!"; "Christmas is Obama's Pearl Harbor!"; "The birth of my first child is Obama's Titanic sinking!"; "My wife's ordination is Obama's serial killer rampage!"

Not as funny as the real thing, but what the heck.

Rushing In And All That Doesn't Make Me A Fool

I haven't said a peep about the whole tempest in a Beltway teapot over Helen Thomas' declaration that Isrealis living in the occupied territories need to "go home" to Germany and Poland because, frankly, I couldn't care less. After all, it isn't like anyone in a position of authority - which Ms. Thomas does not have - has ever declared that the Palestinians should be expelled from . . .

Oh, wait. That happens all the time. Sorry about that.

It isn't like we in America are so over our own racism that we would even think of having people who hold elected office make racist . . .

Gah. Sorry. My bad.

In all seriousness, Ms. Thomas' statement was idiotic, but no less so than hundreds of statements by people with far more authority, power, and influence - think Rush Limbaugh on the radio three hours a day five days a week - and you just gotta wonder. Here's this convicted drug addict, who traipses off to a sex-tourist spot with a bag full of Viagra that isn't even on his scrip, who has racist tourettes and I gotta ask why no one - not a single solitary soul - is demanding he stop his fulminating via the AM airwaves. Well, they do, but it isn't happening. Thomas, sad to say, is long past her prime, and in this instance was low-hanging fruit.

The sad fact is this: I don't think what she said matters all that much, or reveals some inner Himmler ready to gas all those Polish Jews in the occupied territories. Instead, it reveals, at worst, a tendency to allow whatever thoughtless words enter her brain to flow unimpeded out her mouth. Unlike, say, Beck or Mark Levin or Michael Wiener Savage, who spew out false and horribly racist things each and every day, Thomas is long past the point when she commanded either respect or (far more important) big bucks. So, I do not believe this has anything to do with the words Helen Thomas said. It had to do with filthy lucre, pure and simple.

Monday, June 07, 2010

What Does That Have To Do With This? or If I Touch Myself, Angels Cry

This is why I really, really, really can't stand really long comment threads. The post concerns repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and ends up with a discussion of whether or not the Bible does or does not condemn masturbation.

I kid you not.

Along the way, the host of this particular blog says that sex isn't beautiful. Kind of feel sorry for him for that, even more for his partner.

But that's yet another digression.

In honor, who else would I post a video of but The Divinyls?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Questions That Disturbs Me

Is it possible, at all, for someone to be so lost - to life, to others, to him- or herself - that even the grace of God cannot reach that person? Is it possible that someone can be so bruised and battered by life, and his or her response to life that the possibility of life with others just cannot be realized?

Is it possible there are people who aren't psychotic or sociopathic who nevertheless are incapable of love?

In the film What Dreams May Come, there is an image of Hell in which people, surrounded by others damned are incapable of reaching out, of communicating, of seeing how they have isolated themselves in their suffering. For me, what is most haunting about that image is that these people are, in essence, continuing the lives they led. They have defined their existence by isolation, by that inward turn that makes them incapable of seeing the person to their left and right, before and behind, who, if simply approached and seen and heard - really seen and really heard - might rescue them from the prison they have created. They may not even know they have died, let alone that they are in hell. The suffering just goes on and on and on . . .

These questions disturb me, that image from that movie disturbs me. The reason should be obvious. We all have known a person or two in our lives, I believe, for whom life is not endless possibility, but mere existence in the midst of suffering. I am not speaking here of those silly bourgeois "victims" we meet; nor am I speaking of those who live in marginalized communities, defined as "outside" by the majority. Rather, I am speaking of those rare people who just seem unreachable. Whatever the source of their "lostness" to others, they are, indeed, lost.

Any thoughts?

Virtual Tin Cup

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More