Archive for January, 2009

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality

January 26, 2009


I’ll be writing a bit on a couple of books in the coming weeks (I think). Sometimes putting your own thoughts into writing doesn’t work, at least not for mass consumption on this boundary-less blogosphere. So I’m going to comment some on stuff I’ve been reading. It’s been a while since I’ve come across any books that struck a chord inside of me. Thankfully, I’ve come across a couple in the last few weeks, and I intend to write about them.

The first one is entitled Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, and it’s written by Pete Scazzero. I like this book because its basic premise encircles some issues I’m dealing with in my life right now. He states the premise one the front cover: “It is impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” That kind of blanket statement almost forces you to disprove it as quickly as possible. But while I would have taken issue with it years ago, I’m coming around to accepting its basic point.

More on that soon.

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Why I Like Obama

January 22, 2009


I didn’t vote for Obama (I didn’t vote for McCain, either, by the way).  Obama has more optimism about the government’s ability to solve the problems of the world than I do.  But I’m not terribly troubled about his political views reversing trends that have been in place for the last several years.  On the contrary, I’ve been fairly displeased with the gradual increase of the power of the executive branch over the last eight years.  I also feel that we could do a much better job of diplomacy among countries with ideologies that are different from ours.

But this article here touches on the real reason I’m actually quite pleased to have Obama in office.  I teach high school, and three fourths of my students are African-American.  By my lights, they and their families are perpetually struggling with life for a lack of positive male role models.  They idolize people like Tupak, or Lil’ Wayne, or maybe the occasional NBA player.  Nobody who would show a young man how to treat a woman, or hold down a steady, unglamorous job.
But now we have a man in office who clearly displays love for his wife and his children.  He demonstrates a deep respect for thinking through things, listening to people whose views are different from your own, and shows a remarkable ability to articulate complex ideas with unusual clarity.  He represents a new ideal for young black men who want to mean something to the world.  And he didn’t get there by packing heat, wearing the right flag on his $500 jeans, or selling CD’s.  He doesn’t boast about how many women he can objectify, or how free he is from the rule of law.  He is in every way just the opposite.
So I’m pretty pleased.  Not so much with socialized health care, or protectionist economic policy.  But I’m pretty happy with the man.  And maybe that means more than we think.