Monday Meditation: On the Possibility for Offendedness

“Admittedly, we all walk around feeling comforted and assured by specific certainties, but our sense of assuredness as true believers (whatever it is we claim we believe) need not preempt the possibility of feedback. ‘We condemn as unacceptable…’ is the opening phrase intoned by various groups in response to all manner of pictures, programs, or prose they view as offensive. Are we unwilling to endure the pain of a drawing? Does the pristine intensity of one’s faith require that any question or jibe pointed toward its content be ruled as impertinent and out of order? If we won’t entertain disagreement, how can a conversation ever occur? What is anybody’s faith for? Isn’t openness to the dangers of feeling offended a prerequisite to an actual relationship?”
-David Dark, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything

In this election season, look around. Who are your friends? Who do you spend your time with? Its it only the people you agree with? If so, why do you surround yourself with these people? To feel understood? To feel affirmed? To feel loved? These are not bad things. But, it is hard to imagine that much learning or teaching occurs without some sort of dialectic. And, furthermore, what if your friends change their opinions? What then? is the relationship over? Can we only draw near to those who say we are right? What does this do for us? What does this do for the world?

One time Jesus said, “What credit is it to you to love those who love you?” Love your enemies (political and otherwise). Be crazy. This is the kind of radical hope that our world needs–and it is perhaps more intensely persuasive and instructive than any kind of polemic.

It may feel absurd to hurt for those who “lose” on election day if your team “wins”. But it is possible to live in that kind of tension–though the world provides few examples of this for us. You can condemn ideas and love people. It is possible. Though, perhaps, among the hardest things we can undertake as humans.

-Annie

 

Tuesday Newsday [9.4.2012]

Good morning! Let’s get informed.

Local News

I know in light of the Presidential campaign and some people’s natural disdain for “politics,” it is easy to forget how localized and real political elections can become.

I think many Nebraska college students, myself included, can be guilty of assuming Nebraska politics don’t matter, and certainly not on the national scene.

This could not be further from the truth this year. The U.S. Senate election between Bob Kerrey and Deb Fischer is one of the most closely-followed in the nation, and has the chance to tilt the balance of the Senate majority. Each week I will try to post at least one article about this election, because whether or not you “like” politics, they affect your life—and it is incredibly difficult to be a good member of any community if you are uninformed.
Here’s the article. It should give a nice look into one of the common talking points in this election:
http://journalstar.com/elections/kerrey-says-time-outside-nebraska-was-beneficial/article_6efbf24f-4625-5155-9440-95c48103c9ee.html

Slightly troubling article about how Omaha is spending stimulus money:

http://www.omaha.com/article/20120902/NEWS/709029941/1707

National News

Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan’s speech has been under some serious fire. He isn’t backing down.
http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-paul-ryan-fact-check-20120904,0,3872415.story

Read Ryan’s speech here:
http://www.npr.org/2012/08/29/160282031/transcript-rep-paul-ryans-convention-speech

Patents are tricky:

http://www.dailytech.com/Apple+Moves+to+Ban+More+Samsung+Devices+in+US+Samsung+Mimicry+Questioned+in+South+Korea/article27583.htm

I’ll keep my opinion out of this radioactive issue, but it is important that we stay informed on the discussion:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-57505379-503543/ex-cia-chief-michael-hayden-only-the-u.s.-can-strike-iran-nuclear-sites-effectively/

____________________________________________________________________________________________________
I hope this is helpful. Sometimes national reality–politics, economics, etc. can be stressful and unexciting at first glance. And second glance.
If we are to take ourselves seriously as members of this or any community, however, staying informed in a multitude of levels is crucial.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s update on the international community! I like you all.

-Westin