Monday, October 02, 2006


Today's reason to be depressed about New York real estate (this one in Chicago). . . . Scientists have discovered that men and women reach “maximum sexual arousal” in roughly the same amount of time -- 664 seconds for men to 743 for women. Still, I think they’d have to account for the relative duration of those final 79 seconds. In any case, nothing says foreplay like having your body temperature monitored from a computer in another room. . . . Andrew Sullivan promotes his forthcoming book with a solid excerpt, including this: "The alternative to the secular-fundamentalist death spiral is something called spiritual humility and sincere religious doubt. Fundamentalism is not the only valid form of faith, and to say it is, is the great lie of our time."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the key to world peace and harmony is that people of faith have to give up their faith? Wow. What an ingenious solution. Everyone wins. (Except people of faith, but they don't count.)

-- Comish/mrm

12:31 PM  
Blogger JMW said...

Hmm, I don't think that's what he's saying, given that he's a practicing Catholic. Comish, I've trusted all along that you're not an extremist -- don't fail me now!

Unless you're talking about another part of this post -- perhaps the Church of Maximum Arousal. In which case, OK.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to sound wacky. And I wish I could make you feel better, but I don't think I can.

I'm all for spiritual humility. I don't just practice religious doubt, I've perfected it. And I realize that Sullivan is a practicing Catholic, but he's apparently expressed some doubts about his faith for a while. Now Sullivan seems to be saying that we'd all be better off if we just shared his religious doubts.

That doesn't strike me as too spiritually humble.

But more importantly, the flaw in Sullivan's argument is with his central thesis:

What he's saying is that the problem is with people who believe in their God too strongly. Anyone that's so sure that there's a God, and that their God is the right one, is the enemy to reconciliation.

I don't buy that. The problem isn't that Fundamentalists are too sincere in their religious beliefs. It's that certain Fundamentalists' beliefs -- which actually have nothing to do with their faith -- are too Effed up.

We don't have these problems with Hari Krishnas, and if those dudes can wear robes and play tombourines in the airport, I'm guessing they must have pretty strong faith. We don't have these problems with Buddhist monks, and those guys will fast for days and spend every waking hour trying to achieve Nirvana.

Plenty of very Orthodox Jews live in perfect harmony with very fundamentalist Muslims. And a lot of that takes place right here in America.

So the problem isn't with strong religious beliefs. The fault isn't in the religion itself, or the belief in the religion. The fault is in the bastardizaton of the religion. The fault is with people projecting their human desires onto the divine.

Islam is not about the destruction of the Jewish state, and the Judaism is not about having dominion over one piece of land. It is possible to worship Allah or God with all your heart and mind, and simultaneously recognize that Muslims/Jews are not your mortal enemy. Again, it happens here in America all the time.

Sullivan is confusing the belief with the believers. The belief is fine; the believers are wacked.

-- Comish

10:16 PM  

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