Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time


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Obama and the (progressive) Religious Revival

Having a conservative evangelical in the white house (although it turns out Bush was really a social conservative and a religious liberal) coincided with a boom for the evangelical wing of the Christian faith as people had a constant reminder of that faith tradition in the spotlight – for better or for worse. Will Barack Obama do the same for the more liberal religious traditions? Will mainline churches see a revival?

Barack Obama and the (progressive) Religious Revival – Progressive Revival


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Black immigrants see personal triumphs in Obama — And More

Black immigrants see personal triumphs in Obama | Gainesville.com | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL

“He is in a better position than anybody else to speak with the leadership on the African continent, eyeball to eyeball, that it is time for change,” said Ezekwenna, chief executive of Africans in America, which focuses on human trafficking issues. “As leader of the free world, if he tells them the game is up in his motherland, his ancestral home, they will get a clue that the game is up.”


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Op-Ed Contributor – The Pope’s Real Message for Obama – NYTimes.com

The roughly 67 million Catholics in the United States make up nearly one-quarter of the American population, but just 6 percent of the global Catholic total of 1.1 billion. Ninety-four percent of the Catholics in the world, in other words, are not Americans, which may help explain why the pope and his lieutenants are not always thinking American thoughts when they get out of bed in the morning.

That’s a useful bit of context to bear in mind in light of a tough new Vatican document on bioethics, released one week ago, that ratchets up the church’s condemnations of embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, the “morning-after pill” and a host of other techniques it regards as violations of human dignity. …

via Op-Ed Contributor – The Pope’s Real Message for Obama – NYTimes.com.


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Climate Change Becoming Priority for Euros, US

European Leaders Agree on Climate Change Plan

BRUSSELS, Belgium, December 12, 2008 (ENS) European leaders today agreed to hold fast to their plan to battle climate change through growth in renewable energy sources and 20 percent cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and on ways to share the costs. The plan includes concessions to heavy industry and to countries in Eastern Europe concerned that the cost of curbing greenhouse gas emissions would also curb their economic growth.

Obama Would ‘Save the Planet’ By Repowering America

CHICAGO, Illinois, December 10, 2008 (ENS) President-elect Barack Obama signaled that he is ready to tackle the climate crisis immediately upon taking office, following a meeting Tuesday with former Vice President Al Gore and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. “All three of us are in agreement that the time for delay is over, the time for denial is over,” Obama said. The three men met at the Transition’s Chicago headquarters to discuss energy, climate policy and economic recovery.

Environment News Service


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Churches Vie to Attract The First Family

There have been letters, discreet inquiries and bold appeals. Some are using their connections; others are just seeking a foot in the door. It’s part of the spirited competition among Washington churches to land the most sought-after Christians in town: the Obama family.  Methodist, Baptist, United Church of Christ, Presbyterian, Episcopal — all have been courting the Obamas to be regulars in their pews on Sunday mornings. …

Churches Vie to Attract The First Family – washingtonpost.com

What?  No Muslims?  Mu friend Bubba says they’re Muslims!


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All I’ve got to say…

It seems as though I ought to write something about the election, but I’m darned if I can think of anything that hasn’t already been said.  The Dharma connection is obvious, so there’s no point in belaboring that point.  Ditto the historical angle, the racial angle, the political angle. 

It has all been said, is pretty darned clear to those who care to see, and will be repeated many times over the next couple of centuries.  For this is a millennial event; the most powerful country in history is for the first time going to be led by a representative who is not only of it, but also of a lineage that has become one of the least-enfranchised on Earth.

We have proven that Yes, We Can.  Now we must show that We Can Continue.


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5:07 On Line, And I’d Do It Again In A Minute

This morning Michele and I hied it down to the local library for the last day of early voting.  We arrived at precisely 10:00 AM (the moment voting started) to find a line about 100 yards long.  Someone told us that the guy at the front got there at 4:30.  They’re taking this election seriously in our neighborhood.

It rapidly became clear that this was a Barackin’ Love-In.  If there were any Republicans in the crowd, they were either lying about it or laying low.  Shel said the whole thing reminded her of one of the gatherings back in the ’60’s.  Everyone was in a great mood.  Younger folks were loaning older ones folding chairs.  Although it was a lovely, breezy day in the high 70’s it was warm in the sun, so folks with umbrellas were gathering those around them into their portable shade. 

By the time we’d been there for a couple of hours, everyone knew their neighbors.  Obama volunteers were delivering water, candy bars and pretzels up and down the line, and about an hour before we got inside a young guy left the line, went to KFC and brought back several buckets of chicken, distributing legs and thighs to all comers until they ran out.

When we finally got inside, it was almost anticlimactic.  The workers were so organized, after doing this for a couple of weeks, that you almost felt as though there ought to be more to it.  There seemed to be a feeling of regret amongst those of us who became acquainted on line — a feeling that we were tired, dehydrated, hungry, but didn’t want it to be over.

I’m sure the lines at our regular precinct, made up mostly of old people who have all day to vote, will be short on Tuesday evening when we get out of work.  I’d be surprised if there is a wait at all — certainly no more than ten minutes or so.  It will be so convenient for those who waited.  But I wouldn’t have wanted to miss today’s experience for anything.  For five hours we were one people — black, white, beige or whatever — one heart, one mind and one purpose: to be part of a bit of history that is far too many years overdue.

It was glorious!


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The White Catholic Weathervane

Looking for a bellwether group to focus on in the final week of the presidential race?

Look no further than white Catholics, who have gone for the winner in every single presidential election for which exit polling exists. That means that since 1972, the candidate for whom the majority of white Catholics cast their votes has — like clockwork — claimed the presidency.

Parsing the (Tracking) Poll: The White Catholic Weathervane – The Fix


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Racism, pure and simple…

A recent article by Jacob Weisberg in Slate opines that the only reason Obama may not be elected is racial prejudice. I think he’s right. What do you think?

Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world’s judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn’t put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.

Read the whole article »


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The Purpose-Driven Campaign

JohnMcCain and Barack Obama will make their first joint appearance of thecampaign at an event hosted by evangelical megachurch pastor RickWarren on Saturday, Aug. 16. Senior Fellow John Green answers questionsabout what the candidates stand to gain from speaking with Warren, whatchallenges Warren faces as he attempts to broaden evangelicals’political agenda and what a major Pew Forum survey says aboutmegachurches and their members. Read the Q&A »