Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 7, 2007 10:07 AM. The previous post in this blog was What "sustainable" means. The next post in this blog is The real mystery. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Friday, September 7, 2007

The people in the back, not the front

I haven't been to church in quite a while. I've been wondering whether being a Catholic is the right thing for me. Lately it's been kind of a downward spiral on that topic.

A good friend of mine who's still very much a part of the faithful provided a ray of hope yesterday. She wrote:

Who/what is the church? A human institution constructed 500+ years after the death of Jesus based on a patriarchal political model with a limited world view? Or the people who live the Gospel message out the best they can and gather to celebrate and remember the life and challenge of Jesus as we work in our own ways to make the world a better place?

Let the boys in Rome have their squabbles and disagreements about outdated language, stupid rules and how best to cover up scandals. They can't get between me and God. And luckily when there are places of sanity like St. Phil's, it's a bit easier to live the sacramental life that means so much to me without getting caught up in the silly antics of the men in funny hats.

Between that and running into another member of the parish the other evening -- a guy I don't want to lose touch with -- maybe somebody up there is talking to me.

Comments (16)

Sam Harris

Ode to Reason
Robert Hambourger’s unfavorable review of my book, The End of Faith ("Ode to Intolerance,” Winter 2006) alleges that I do not understand religion—at least as it is practiced by most people, most of the time. While he sought to illustrate this contention by stringing together many disconnected quotations from my book, he showed no sign of actually having understood my argument against religious faith. The fact that Mr. Hambourger has spent some of his considerable academic energies expounding upon “the reasonableness of belief in miracles” is quite telling…

The Myth of Secular Moral Chaos
"One cannot criticize religious dogmatism for long without encountering the following claim, advanced as though it were a self-evident fact of nature: there is no secular basis for morality. Raping and killing children can only really be wrong, the thinking goes, if there is a God who says it is.”

An Atheist Manifesto
"Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply a refusal to deny the obvious. Unfortunately, we live in a world in which the obvious is overlooked as a matter of principle...The atheist, by merely being in touch with reality, appears shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of his neighbors.”

I have a real hard time grappling with the word as it comes from the Holy See. Mass, on the other hand, even when I disagree with the interpretation of the homily, is a very peaceful experience for me. I love the ritual, though it's hard to call it a ritual when it's as sporadic as it is with me.

Your friend's ray of hope is exactly that.

Google Sam Harris. get a bottle of Jack Daniels. and prepare yourself to come to your senses. Hallelujah! you found the truth!

Gary Wills' "Why I Am Catholic" and Andrew Greeley's "The Catholic Myth" (hard to find these days) will help you get your bearings and try to figure out where you might want to go.

Pretty much the only thing I ever liked about going to church was meeting good people. I suppose you can do that anywhere, but people seem to be at their best when they're at church...especially when they are relating to one another about things that have nothing to do with religion. The people I'm talking about aren't the ones running the place, although I have to admit I did meet some pretty cool priests and nuns when I was a practicing Catholic awhile back.

While I appreciate and agree with Sam Harris in questioning the belief in a supernatural being based on selective readings of ancient texts, I'm a bit put off by his approval of war and torture against those who believe in God.

Other than that, his books are a good read.

For a non-neocon take on atheism, you might check out Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion.

"I'm a bit put off by his approval of war and torture against those who believe in God."
Where do you get this?
Dawkins is another fine read along with Chris Hitchens.

They can't get between me and God.

I thought we covered this once already.

From the grave,

In The End of Faith, Harris criticizes pacifists (Chomsky, Roy) and justifies bombing and torture. Yes, he spends more ink debunking the notion that Islam is a peaceful religion (and that may well be his central point), but he makes the unmistakable case that war and torture are morally just.

I was taken aback by the justification of collateral damage on the grounds that it isn't intentional. Not because I disagree with it politically, but because it was his only glaring logical fallacy.

In justifying bombing (and criticizing Chomsky), Harris writes:

"Nothing in Chomsky's account acknowledges the difference between intending to kill a child, because of the effect you hope to produce on its parents (we call this 'terrorism'), and inadvertently killing a child in an attempt to capture or kill an avowed child murderer (we call this 'collateral damage'). In both cases a child has died, and in both cases it is a tragedy. But the ethical status of the perpetrators, be they individuals or states, could hardly be more distinct."

So the ends justify the means, in Harris' world. The first fallacy, of course, is that in bombing Iraq and Afghanistan our goal was pursuing child killers. But this masks the greater logical fallacy: when you engage in a war-making, you really are intentionally killing children. There's no way to bomb a city without doing so. There is nothing "inadvertent" about it. If you decide to bomb, you decide to kill kids. Period. Justifying this is moral relativism, something he takes great pains to ascribe to his intellectual foes.

Harris is an acolyte of Alan Dershowitz. Unfortunately, Dershowitz's political influence seems to have overshaddowed Harris' otherwise well-reasoned tome.

Some people question how Catholics can hang on to their religion when wrongs have been found. I would say that many of us (and I am a practicing Catholic) would say that we know and believe in God and in what He said. We believe that the Church has a majority of it correct. We acknowledge that whenever man gets his hand involved in something that 9 times out of 10 he'll screw something up, but we believe that in the end God will make His Church right.

As with many Catholics I had my times where I broke away. In the end I found myself wanting more than what life offered (making atheism a non-option, plus it didn't make logical sense to me). I explored other religions and other Christian churches and always found them wanting. I've come to peace with God and with my Church. I AM A CATHOLIC and proud of it (although not always proud of my church).

I would go Catholic if the US church "schismed" away from Rome and the idiocy of the papacy.

Not to add to your confusion, but this week's Newsweek had an interesting article on Mother Theresa's letters...and her struggle with her faith and whether she believed there was a god. I doubt that her humanity will allow her saint status.

I am not Catholic and not the most moarl person either, but I think a lot of times the ideal gets mis-interpreted by those who bear the message.

I am sure when the noble ideals of government started in Greece and Aristotle began the university that both were organizations that treated people fairly. However, look at what has happened over time to both, yet we still strive for the ideal.

In addition, explaining the concept of faith to those who are not willing to accept concepts without proof, even if they are unprovable.

So, if anything, I understand your struggle to believe.

Disconnect, here. Totally. Where do these understandings or interpretations come from -- completely opposite my own -- in Sam Harris's words? Wacky Mommy quotes Harris; what's the link on those words? But even in the quote, "intending to kill ... inadvertently killing ... in both cases it is a tragedy," and such END is UNACCEPTABLE, CANNOT be TOLERATED, by ANY MEANS,' means so PLAINLY NOT the interpretation OFFERED as, "the ends justify the means, in Harris' world."

The Sam Harris link in my first comment, gets you to his recent articles collection. So we can all be on the same pages. In them, he states clearly that morality exists and he abides in it WITHOUT and APART FROM any reference to any God -- keep natural moral sensibility, intrinsic in the anatomy of the (normal) human brain, (ref: How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker); and lose the irrational superstition in any supernatural 'god' as the basis or 'giver' of morality; such idea requiring worship and devotion in an 'organized religion' is a mental prosthetic handicap, throw away those crutches, stand up and walk in the righteousness of sane moral human consciousness, in all people, in all cultures, in all the ages, born in humankind.

Harris also states that in children strongly indoctrinated to think in terms of 'supernatural order,' and 'God,' the resulting adult has great difficulty reading, and can hardly hear, to 'get' the veracity of atheism.

Forget 'God' and it changes nothing in your world, except an end to horrendous crimes and deaths dedicated to God's many namesakers.

I think David Reinhardt's article on Mother Theresa in today's paper is quite thought-provoking. And tensk, if you forget God and God is real and omniscient, and the source of moral sensibility, then that isn't wise. That men use God as an excuse to act like Jackas*es isn't God's fault. God gave them free will.

I accidentally posted my mini review of neocon torture-and-bombing-justifying atheist Sam Harris' book under my wife's moniker (Wacky Mommy). Not that she has any love for anybody who relies on Alan Dershowitz as much Harris, but she might not want the attention that comment may draw.

Sorry, hon.

To be clear, I have no quarrel with Harris' atheist argument. I am an atheist. I just want no truck with his neoconservative politics. (If you didn't catch that angle when you read "End of Faith", you weren't paying very close attention.)


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics