Religion

I had a good conversation last week at Baja with a friend from church. We were discussing “the brotherhood” and he was telling me some of his experience growing up in the non-institutional churches of Christ, which is a side that I had only heard of by other names. In any case, it struck me how much that split paralleled the earlier split between churches of Christ and the Christian Church/Disciples of Christ. It all seems very unfortunate to me, that there should be so much division and frank enmity among those who call Jesus their Lord.

I wish we could find a way to disagree without disfellowshipping. Does “I don’t agree with you,” always have to immediatelly imply “I can’t consider you a True Christian anymore,”? Obviously there are some important things that all believers in Christ hold in common, but why is it that we have to splinter over every issue? It’s bad enough when congregations split, but then why do we instinctively start bashing each other?

(Can’t we all just get along?)

Politics

Seeing the way things have been going in Washington DC lately, I thought I would go against the teachings of David Lipscomb and exercise my citizen’s right to vote next month. I am neither Republican or Democrat, as I find myself agreeing with each party on certain issues, but not all of them, so I tend to lean towards independants. Little did I know…

I thought I’d pull up Project Vote Smart, and get a feel for where each of the individuals on the ballot stand on “the issues”. Apparently most candidates in my area (especially major party candidates) feel “constricted” by the directness, clarity, and unbiased nature of the political issues survey (NPAT) that PVS puts out, and so most of them declined to take it. That leaves their websites as the only easily accessible source of information on what these people believe and feel should be done. Unfortunately, their websites are just about as useful as those signs on the streets that say a candidate’s name and nothing more. (“I’M GONNA VOTE FOR JOE SCHMOE, BECAUSE HE HAD THE BEST-LOOKING BLUE-AND-RED SIGN EVAH!!!!”)

Take this guy’s. As far as I can tell, I should vote for him because he has cute kids.

Here are the two candidates with the most clearly-laid-out views on their issues: 1 2 (As in, it takes more than 60 seconds to read their platform.) Does anyone else also notice that they’re super-lefties, as in, the GREEN PARTY? (!? !? !? Has the Gourd lost his mind? !? !? !?)  And yet, these are probably the ones I’ll be voting for, if nothing else because they seem to be more interested in issues than images. (And they defend net neutrality.)  Also, you would at best be able to buy a new car with their campaign budgets.  I’m not sure what I would buy with $13 million.  As an aside, I do not agree with them on abortion and gay marriage, but that’s perhaps a different post. I agree with them on most everything else.

This is all very surreal.  And it’s not like it matters a whole lot anyways, because there is no chance they’ll actually get elected.  Maybe Lipscomb was right…

It’s A New Car!

Well, actually an old car, but it’s new to me! I bought a red 1989 Toyota Celica today from a trendy Christian rock star. (Anyone heard of Taylor Sorensen?) It’s a 5-speed, so I’ve got a little practice to do, but this is such an easy clutch that I don’t think it’ll be a problem. Seriously, this clutch is so easy to use that I could drive it with minimal shudder on the first try, even up inclines. In any case, I’ll keep you updated on how it goes, and try to put a picture up soon.

Update: After about 50 practice starts in a parking lot, I can start pretty smoothly and quickly consistently, and the rest is cake.  I got the plate/insurance today as well, so I’m already using the vehicle regularly.  At the moment, I’m averaging one stall per trip.  We’ll see how the morning commute goes tomorrow…