Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We All Need Saving

A friend of mine is an up-and-coming singer/pianist/songwriter. One of his songs, the title of which I stole for this post, has become a favorite of mine. It’s come up in my head over and over since last Saturday morning when I woke up and heard about the shooting that had taken place in Newtown the day before.

I’ve ready so many responses from individuals about the shooting.

One response has really given me pause to stop and think about the role of religion in society.

I’ve debated about whether or not to link to his page, because much of his writing is nothing but hate and violence robed in quasi-academic religiosity. I really don’t like to give airtime to this kind of thought. But out of fairness (read it for yourself if you think I’m not being fair) a desire to always site my source, here it is. 

And here’s my response. 

It’s time—it’s well past time—to stop looking for someone to save us from ourselves.

I can’t get over the mental contortion that the writer has to perform in order to begin a paragraph with “We have, for years, systematically stripped our public classrooms of any acknowledgement of God or moral absolutes,” and end with “We reinforce the self centered belief that it is ‘all about me.”

You see, the thing that the writer leaves out is that he’s not interested in hearing about your god, or my god, or anyone else’s god. He’s only interested in hearing about his god and in the versions of god that he thinks are close enough to his version of god. It’s ironic and revealing (not to mention remarkably self-aggrandizing) that the writer’s website is called “Truth Observed.”

Mr. Tacket wants us to understand that an it’s-all-about-me mindset is the root of evil insofar as social problems go. But the author conveniently forgets that the religion that he thinks will save the world is really just his own version, his own understanding, packaged and sold for our consummation. In other words, it’s his version of all-about-me dressed up like religion so that we think that it has been delivered from on high and then promulgated through blame, shame and guilt. 

It’s-all-about-me is fine, as long as we say “It’s really all about Jesus.” Right? 

OK. Fine. Our president says he wants to have a national conversation and your response is derisive, dismissive, condescending and self-contradictory and totally not helpful.

But, those like Mr. Tacket should understand that choices have consequences.

When you allow yourself to stop taking responsibility for your actions (gun control won’t help us, we all just need Jesus), the end result will be a violent country where this sort of thing happens over and over again.

When you begin with the premise that man is evil and needs saving, you’ve planted the seed for violence.

When you dismiss the role of individual meaning-making in religion, and say that you (and you exclusively) have found the “truth,” it creates violence in your heart towards others who “need saving.”

And finally, when your response to a national tragedy is so dramatically off-topic (let’s end abortion and put prayer back in schools), not only do you partake in the violence that plagues us; but you also deny our nation that possibility of a conversation with outcomes that evince our shared understanding of what it means to be safe while respecting the safety needs of others. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Up and Out: Thailand

We are leaving for the airport in thirty minutes. Douglas did a great job at the last minute packing, and I managed to doubt him only once. We are close to being professionals... I think.

This should be a quick, easy, and painless trip. The only bad thing is the overnight flight being four hours and we land at sunrise. So it looks like a short night and a long day ahead. It will all be worth it after spending two weeks on a private beach with each other and our boys.

Happy Holidays!

Chad, Douglas, Cedric & Ezra

Sunday, December 16, 2012

First Haircut

Oh my! It's amazing how quickly these kids are growing up. In witnessing the new things they're learning, seeing them take their first unassisted steps, attempting to form words, eating new foods, and by almost everyone who lives in our community and has known the boys since they're birth, we're reminded daily that our babies don't stay babies for long. Yesterday, in preparation for some major beach time coming up, we decided to bite the bullet and get the twins their first haircut. And, wow! I think they suddenly turned into little boys right before our eyes.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Playing Catch Up: First Birthday Party

Our last day in Istanbul was Cedric & Ezra's first birthday. We enjoyed carpet shopping, apple tea drinking, purchasing a great painting, and of course hopping on a plane. I sat down today and calculated how many flights the boys have been on in their first year and here is what I came up with.

Delhi-Hong Kong
Hong Kong-Delhi

So there you have it 17 take offs and landings and 46,530 miles in their first year of life. Not many babies can say they have been in six different countries (seven if you count Texas) before the age of one.

My mother came back to Delhi with us and we had a great two weeks hanging out around the house and exploring Delhi-lite. While she was here we had a proper celebration with our overseas family. Thankfully the boys are not all that into sugar and messes... yet.

We are off to Koh Chang Thailand next week for winter break. We get to spend almost three weeks with our asses in the sand and beers in our hands!

Here are a few pictures from the party.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Playing Catch Up: Turkey Trip

Hello blog readers! I'm not sorry for the long pause in blogging. Life is as busy as hell and the blog gets put on the back burner.

Turkey was a great trip despite me declaring a moratorium on all future travel on the flight to Istanbul. It all started around 2a. We packed the boys up and headed to the airport where they slept through check-in, immigration, security, and boarding. We took our seats and life as we knew it changed. The boys kicked it into high gear, and since it was morning time it was play time. Under normal circumstances this would be fine, but Douglas and I had been up since 2a and were approaching exhaustion. Just an FYI holding two almost one year olds still for six hours on three hours of sleep isn't pretty. So we learned that timing is everything, and in the future we will be taking overnight flights when we travel.

Although it started out a bit rough our trip to Istanbul was great. My mother flew in from Indianapolis the day after we arrived, and we had a great time eating street food and touring the city. The streets are clean, the people were nice, and the buildings are beautiful. Istanbul is now on my list of top cities.

Here are some pictures from our trip.