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gop loss good thing for evangelicals? November 9, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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Normally, I would not dispute this, but when the headline from Agape Press reads, “A Good Election Loss for the GOP“, I start to question myself. See, Agape Press is the CNN for evangelical Christians. While FOX News may be the secular front for the right-wing community, Agape Press makes no excuses for being the voice of the religious right. When I started reading this article I was expecting the typical “GOP-has-become-too-immoral” rhetoric I have been hearing lately from many evangelical Christians (ie. stop having homosexual sex and in general just being corrupt). I was wrong. Mr. Matt Friedeman, a professor at Wesley Biblical Seminary, argues that the Republican Party has strayed from its “small-government” roots. Honestly, I could understand that if everything that the Democrats are going to do is intrinsically evil. (more…)

nothing really changes in america November 8, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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It is currently just past 1:30am MST as I attempt to finish a paper that is due tomorrow (no, I was not procrastinating – it has just been one of those weeks). I watched tonight as the Democrats took the House in the United States and await threat of a recall in Virginia if the Republicans lose control of the nail-biting Senate vote. None of this really matters to me because we are talking about two-sides of the same coin. Nothing in the United States really changes. Former President Clinton was blowing Iraq to pieces before the Republicans obliterated the rest of the country and started dismantling the Constitution. (more…)

anniversaire November 6, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal.
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Today is the one year celebration of marriage with my beautiful wife. It has been a hectic but ultimately awesome year, which in all honesty, I was not expecting. I only say this because I have always been told that the first years of marriage can be extremely challenging. Well, since Kristina is thirty-nine weeks pregnant, the true challenges are surely yet to come. In the past year, however, the trials of being university students with very little income has been miniscule compared to the blessings of marriage.

For those of you who do not personally know me, last year Kristina and I got married in the comfort of our own living room with a pastor, Kristy’s parents, two witnesses, and twelve dozen roses after a two-day engagement. No, she was not pregnant (that would happen three months later). There just comes a point when you know you want to be with the person you love for the rest of your life – with no regrets. Neither of us are a fan of big weddings, and so we had actually decided to elope – at the last minute we were convinced to have some traditional aspect and so we did get a pastor. And so here we are – are only debts are academic rather than because of a wedding – married one year later. It may not be the twenty-year later “you’re still married!” achievement, but we both feel we’re still going strong and will last until – excuse the cliche – death do us part.

Kristina – I love you.

olbermann makes me tingle November 5, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I bet you are wondering whether tingling is a good thing or a bad thing. I do not really know. As a Canadian I do not get MSNBC and so I depend on YouTube and the MSNBC website for my dose of the Olbermann. Keith Olbermann has is crosshairs continually aimed on the Bush administration and fires away with penetrating accuracy. Okay, the gun metaphor was a little over the top. I do not know whether Olbermann writes his own rants (the infamous “Special Comments”) or not, but the scripts are inescapably heart-wrenching at times. Here are just a few of the great ‘Special Comments’ by Olbermann, each are around six to ten minutes long and all are worth checking out. (more…)

satanism article update November 4, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in philosophy, religion.
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I have updated my previously posted article “Nietzsche within LaVey’s Satanism” with a short clip from the mouth of LaVey himself. You can find the YouTube clip at the bottom of the article, it is worth checking out.

Note that I do not promote LaVey’s Satanism. If you are a Satanist (or a “Nietzchean” for that matter) feel free to comment on the article or the video. I welcome discussion from any religious adherents.

the baptism of jesus in the synoptics November 2, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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Every Gospel, that is, biography or recording of Jesus the one called Christ, portrays its subject in a unique perspective. Each perspective may have a different bias and purpose, but there is still a common narrative being told. Examples of this can be seen in the individual narratives that consummates the different Gospel accounts of Jesus. One such individual narrative presented in the beginning of each Gospel is that of the teachings of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus by John. By investigating the separate perspectives of this story among the synoptic Gospels, one can interpret the different impressions, roles, beliefs, and implications that each writer is hoping to present. Implicit in this investigation is the assumption of the two-source theory of the synoptic Gospels that places the hypothetical “Q” document in combination with the Gospel of Mark as the two early sources for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. (more…)

marriage crisis in america November 1, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics, religion.
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I love reading Agape Press. It gives me a rush of indignation towards delusional, self-centered, self-righteous, and generally stupid people. No offence. Nothing personal. Agape recently posted an article on the America Community Survey’s conclusion that the institution of marriage is falling apart in America. I was pleasantly surprised that the article did not outrightly blame the LGBT movement’s attempt for equality. Instead, it targeted such legislations as “no-fault” divorce for the increasing rise of divorce. I should say that this is not the survey’s conclusion, but the “World Congress of Families” which is a considered a leader in the “pro-family” movement (ie. pro-right wing evangelical traditionalist north american family movement). (more…)

why i am a christian – part iii October 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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continued from part ii

Before leaving to Alberta I had patched up some turbulent relationships so I did not feel like I was simply running away from my problems. This was extremely freeing, and allowed me to gain some stability in my life. I was able to find a room close to the university the day I drove into the city of Edmonton. I had a little difficulty adjusting to my new setting, but I was visited by often enough by someone from home (who would later become my girlfriend and then my wife). Scholastically I was just getting by: a couple of B’s, a couple of C’s. Most of my time spent reading was not for school. Only a year into my Philosophy major I had a tendency to pass over my Philosophy textbooks to read books on religious syncretism, Buddhology, and early Christian writings. (more…)

the antitheses of matthew October 30, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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The Gospel attributed to Matthew has been one of the most influential Gospels among the mainstream Christian church. The interpretation of Matthew’s theology has been revamped and reinterpreted by every different era and every different agenda. This has led to endless interpretations of the Gospel, of which I will investigate two that are currently popular within two different camps of thought. Although I personally do not ascribe to either, I do believe one is more plausible than the other. Focusing on the exhortations concerning the law which has often been called the “sermon on the mount” or the “antitheses” of Matthew, one can see how different the interpretations of Matthew can be, especially depending on one’s worldview. (more…)

bodhisattva: master of paradox October 29, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in religion.
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The concept of the bodhisattva in Mahāyāna text reads in such a way that may be confusing to many western readers. The bodhisattva is presented as an unidentifiable being as a result of ethical and cosmological necessities. The necessary attributes of the bodhisattva, however, demand the bodhisattva to be a master of paradox, often reconciling seemingly contradictory ideas that in turn complement the middle-way philosophy of the Buddha. The good and genuine bodhisattva balances emptiness with action, non-self with self, nirvāna with saṃsāra, and generousity with selflessness. Although some of these concepts may not seem contradictory, Buddhist philosophy demands the implications of emptiness, self, nirvāna, saṃsāra, and selflessness to be investigated, often resulting in conflicting ideas. (more…)

death of a… October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in media, politics.
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Go see “Death of a President”. If you are a Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, radical, fascist. Go see this film. I prefer not to give film reviews because I think it they ruin films. I can only tell you to see it. I have never seen so many people been so foolish in their ignorant comments they have made on this film. The White House stated it the film does not even dignify a response. Hillary Clinton called the film “disgusting”. Some American theatres have banned the film while others are just refusing to screen it. The funny thing is, these people had not seen the film. The film is, fortunately, not anti-Bush. I heard some guy behind me scoffing everytime the President’s “special advisor” spoke, who was the stereotypical butt-kisser. Bush is cautiously presented in a way that would have A&E wishing for rights on this movie. The most chilling scene in the film is not the half-second shooting of the President, but the installation of Vice President Cheney as President. Mid-way through this film you need to remind yourself that President Bush had not really been assassinated and you are really living in the year 2006 rather than 2008. If you have access to a theatre that is playing the film, go see it.

why i am a christian – part ii October 28, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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continued from part i

In retrospect it is amusing that Columbia Bible College did help me figure things out, it just did not happen the way I thought it would. I did not come out with a BA in Biblical Studies. I did not come out wishing to be a pastor or a Bible College teacher. I did not even come out wishing for more (in relation to spiritual guidance or something). I came out wanting to help destroy Christendom. Although I was not completely opposed to Christianity itself, I was vehemently disgusted with Christians. So how did that happen? How did a Bible-thumping right-wing evangelical become so horrendously opposed to everything he believed in? There is no one answer and there probably is not too many coherent answers. It was, however, a painful process. (more…)

random news bits October 26, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in politics.
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I really wanted to continue my “why i am a christian” series, but midterm exams and papers hit and I have been missing a lot of good news (it is election season down south after all). In the past several days, Quebec has been the news again with a discussion that has been going on since before Confederation, but hey, they got invited to the Kyoto meeting in Kenya by the doublespeaking Conservative government Minister of Environment that “supports” the Kyoto accord at the same time as rejecting it. Meanwhile in the United States, the elections have started out nicely for the Democrats as the Republicans have resorted to explicitly using terrorist’s ads as their own. Not only that, but Cheney himself admits supporting the use of toruture akin to that found during the barbaric witch-hunts of the middle ages. (more…)

housekeeping October 24, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in Uncategorized.
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WordPress (my blog host) is now offering domain hosting, thus you will notice that my blog can now be found at http://bradleyrichert.com rather than https://brichert.wordpress.com. http://bradrichert.com will still redirect to the site as well. Happy birthday to me!

why i am a christian – part i October 23, 2006

Posted by Brad Richert in personal, religion.
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I sit here writing, knowing full well that I should really be working on a silly assignment due on Wednesday so that I can start work on another due on Thursday, giving myself a bit of time to study for a midterm that I also have on Thursday. My laptop, prone to overheating, sits tilted on an angle upheld by a book on the religious right. It is a sunny day, my cats are lazing about and my wife is watching some television show on her laptop. And it is quiet. Very quiet. The hum of my computer is drowned out only by the hum of the humidifier. In my procrastination I have been scanning random websites, mainly those concerning contemporary Christianity. I think about my beliefs on a daily basis, mainly because my area of study forces me to. Yet every once in awhile I feel the need to share why I am a Christian, or more importantly, why I am the type of Christian that I am. (more…)