Fighting Talker

Entries categorized as ‘Religion’

Calling out for a good headline

July 14, 2008 · 5 Comments

I’m putting out an all-points bulletin requesting the kind of clever tabloid headline a story like this deserves.

The New England Revolution has announced that defender Chase Hilgenbrinck has decided to leave the club and retire from soccer to enter a Catholic seminary in Maryland to prepare for a new career in the ministry. Hilgenbrinck, 26, signed with the Revolution on March 28, 2008 following a four-year career in Chile. He made four appearances in MLS first-team matches, including one start. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he also started the Revs’ two U.S. Open Cup victories this month. Additionally, he started all six of the reserve team’s games for which he was available, captaining the team twice. “After years of discernment, I feel strongly that the Lord has called me to become a priest in the Catholic Church,” he said.

I am thinking along the lines of New career choice collars Hilgenbrink, or Hilgenbrink cuts from different cloth now, that kind of thing.

Have at it commenters.

Categories: MLS · Religion · Soccer

Careful Steven

March 26, 2008 · 4 Comments

Steven Cohen needs to be careful if he keeps peddling drivel like this:

“I was told that the Seattle franchise is in advanced negotiations with Thierry Henry.” Steve Cohen - World Soccer Daily 3/26/2008

If he doesn’t watch himself, he’ll end up on the Award Winning Aaron Stollar List of Jews who Disgrace His Faith… I’m sure Woody Allen, Monica Lewinsky, and Kathie Lee need company.

Stay tuned.

Categories: Arsenal · MLS · Religion · Soccer

Big Ups to Wonkette

April 10, 2007 · No Comments

From Wonkette:

Giant Talking Rabbits Haunt White House

'Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.' - Wonkette

As we know from movie classics such as “Harvey” and “Donnie Darko,” a sure-fire sign of insanity is the appearance of an anthropomorphic giant rabbit. Laura’s got two!

Categories: Politics · Religion

Am I just a "Secular-Progressive" Asshole?

March 5, 2007 · 2 Comments

Does it make me wrong that statements like these make me very nervous?

In addition to [Andrew] Roberts and myself the group included the historian Gertrude Himmelfarb, neocon Norman Podhoretz and theologian Michael Novak.

The president divulged with convincing calm that when it comes to pressure, “I just don’t feel any”. Why? His constituency, he feels, is the divine presence, to whom he must answer. Don’t misunderstand: God didn’t tell him to put troops in harm’s way in Iraq; his belief only goes so far as to inform him that there is good and evil. It is the president who must figure out how to promote the former and destroy the latter. And he is confident that his policies are doing just that.

Why does this make me so nervous? Am I biased? Would I feel any better if it was a Jew saying that? Or am I what O’Reilly calls a “Secular-Progressive” and am, in fact, exactly what’s wrong with America?

I don’t know the answer to that.

Categories: Personal · Politics · Religion

A Good Point for Today’s Times

February 21, 2007 · No Comments

Prof. Jonathan D. Sarna references a good quote from the Talmud today in the Washington Post. This is a quote we should all keep in mind in light of so much of the histrionics we hear regarding criticism of the war, Israel, etc.

In trying to discern how to distinguish legitimate prophetic criticisms of Israel from illegitimate ones, I have been greatly influenced by the words of Rabbi Jonathan in the Talmudic tractate of Tamid (28a): “He who reproves his neighbor with pure intent [‘in the name of heaven’] is worthy of a portion from God.” Criticism, Rabbi Jonathan implies, must be carefully evaluated: Much depends on the motives of the critic.

Categories: Politics · Religion

Sullivan hits it dead on

January 3, 2007 · No Comments

Andrew Sullivan writes in Time about the “Humbling of Religion” in 2006. I think he hits this square on the head. Specifically, he speaks to two themes that will be very interesting to watch in the coming years.

Evangelicalism also saw the beginnings of a political divide. A new head of the Christian Coalition was forced to resign after he wanted to expand the group’s mission from abortion, marriage and stem cells to poverty and the environment. David Kuo, a former Bush Administration insider who helped run the faith-based social program, wrote a book decrying the cynical use of Evangelicals for political gain and regretting his enmeshment with the religious right. He called for devout Christians to take a two-year fast from politics. And in a remarkable sign of a new era, the orthodox Evangelical Rick Warren invited Democratic Senator Barack Obama to address a conference on AIDS. What was once a seemingly rigid and monolithic group was revealed to be actually more diverse, nuanced and open to debate than once seemed possible.

In terms of domestic political “inside baseball,” a divide amongst the evangelical Christian community could be one of the most interesting developments in recent years. There are increasingly fewer and fewer monolithic voter groups left in America. With Labor’s increasing irrelevance, the GOP’s past outreach towards Latino voters and Democrats increasing inroads towards religious voters, the traditional monoliths could be a thing of the past. The only two left that really come to mind are African-Americans and Jews. Though if the Republicans keep pushing hard on immigration, they could push Latinos back in the blue direction.

But worldwide, Sullivan saw a different shift.

Within Islam, something also very profound occurred in 2006. Until earlier this year, Islam had found itself represented by essentially one faction in global politics and propaganda: the anti-Western vision of al-Qaeda’s Wahhabist ideology. The power of its ability to marshall Arab and Muslim resentment against the West — and against non-Muslims more generally — drowned out milder, more moderate forms of Islam and masked deep divisions within Islam itself.

But in 2006, a messier reality emerged. What once appeared an extreme anti-Western monolith splintered into different factions. In Iraq, the ground zero of civilizational clash, the turning point was the bombing of the Samarra mosque, a site sacred to Shi’ite Muslims. From that horrifying moment onward, what had been a mainly Sunni insurgency against occupying infidel troops became a civil war between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims. The dynamic within Islam in the Middle East shifted from one that pitted Islam against the West to one that pitted Islam against itself. Evidence emerged of Iranian support for Shi’ite militias, alongside Saudi financing of Sunni terror. Suddenly, the monolith was over — and the old divisions within Islam became as important as Islam’s differences with Christians and Jews and secularists. Islam was revealed as having no single answer — no more than Christianity has one single answer, no more than any faith has one simple answer to every question human beings ask.

I think we will find that the only “Clash of Civilizations” to come will take place between Sunnis and Shias and not between Muslims and the West. If Muslims were to actually try to war against the West, they’d have to get their own house in order first. And to do that, either the Sunnis or Shias would have to emerge victorious in the battle of Muslim ideologies. Needless to say, I have my doubts that those battles will be won through scholarship or negotiation.

Categories: Politics · Religion