Monthly Archives: June 2015

I don’t believe in belief. Here’s why.

Arnie (not his real name) has been the sole student of my course on effective prayer.

Sunday after church he told me he’d found a couple online resources about effective prayer, that he hoped we could review together.  Each of them begins with the necessity of “belief.”

When he said this, I became nervous.  There are many such sources online, but I’m not comfortable with them.  On the one hand, trying to make myself “believe” that the outcome I pray for is inevitable, feels too much like wading into the world of delusion.  On the other hand, although there are many New Testament references to “belief” in connection with prayer, I’m convinced that either (a) those expressions don’t come from the historical Jesus himself, or else (b) Jesus used that term to mean something very different from what we normally take it to mean today.

None of those whom I regard as experts in the field ever refer to belief this way.  Never.  Not once.  Ever.

By Monday afternoon, I would feel my reservations had been powerfully confirmed.

Related:  From my diary: Learning to pray
Related:  I will not be disappointed
Related:  When prayer backfires
Continue reading I don’t believe in belief. Here’s why.

Reducing our carbon footprint – by design

Grateful as I am for air conditioning, Baltimore’s current heat wave brought this post to mind, and it may be good to re-blog it just now.

The Homeless Blogger

I don’t hold with those who want to blame global warming wholly on American industry and American cars.  The slashing-burning of hundreds of square miles of Amazon rain forest each day, and the air pollution in Mexico City and Beijing, show the need for a global response.

There are two principal ways human beings can reduce greenhouse gases:  (1) covering more land with green plants that will consume carbon dioxide from the air; and (2) reducing our carbon dioxide emissions.

Some simple considerations of architecture address both concerns.

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A third phase has begun.

Saturday  2015-05-02

A third phase has begun, with yesterday’s filing of charges against the six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s arrest; but perhaps more importantly, with the press conference given by the Gray family’s attorney, Billy Murphy, that afternoon.  I will attempt to link here to, or embed, a complete video of that press conference; or, alternatively, copy the complete transcript here.

Wednesday 2015-05-20

Media coverage of gang violence sure looks different when the perpetrators are white

There has been no “gang violence” in Baltimore in 2015, so this article is attempting to compare two completely dissimilar events. The article also actually says nothing about “media” coverage, as that term is normally understood; its focus is on social media responses, something very different.

34 Murdered in Baltimore Since Freddie Gray Died

“Black lives matter:” the message hasn’t gotten through.

Friday  2015-05-22

Yesterday afternoon I was able to look at a hard copy of the day’s Baltimore Sun.  A front page article reported that there had been 22 shootings “Tuesday and Wednesday” in the Western [Police] District alone.  I am unable to link here to the article, because the Sun website says I’ve exhausted my free views for this month.  But again:

“Black lives matter:” the message hasn’t gotten through.