July 30th, 2003

i fight fire with words


It [the Reformation] challenged the idea that divine authority should be mediated through institutions or hierarchies, and it denied the value of tradition. Instead it offered radical new notions of the supremacy of written texts (that is, the books of the Bible), interpreted by individual consciences.
-Philip Jenkins, "The Next Christianity"
Conversations with sk8eeyore make me want to do loads of research into various aspects of Christianity and hash out much more thoroughly just what it is i believe. (I really should bookmark all the entries in which we have theological disccussions for future reference.) The above quotation fairly well defines my approach to my personal theology.

Another interesting quote from the article:
Out of this impasse, this failure to impose a monolithic religious order across the Continent, there arose such fundamental ideas of modern society as the state's obligation to tolerate minorities and the need to justify political authority without constantly invoking God and religion. The Enlightenment—and, indeed, Western modernity—could have occurred only as a consequence of the clash, military and ideological, between Protestants and Catholics.
hermione by oatmilk

London vs. Oxford and other thoughts on traveling

I went to the Ashmolean today. *shrug* It was okay. I'd forgotten how much east-Asian Buddhist/Hindu imagery appeals to me. And there was a sandstone shrine which had a female figure on each of the four sides, and they were nude from the waist up but had great expressions of power and authority; i dunno, i liked it. Also, they have Powhatan's mantle, yo.

There are a bunch of thrift stores here i wanna check out (yeah, like i have room to bring home more clothes).

I like Oxford better than London because it feels like i can just wander around and see things and discover things, whereas London is so big and intimidating that you have to have a plan. Also, because i'm staying in Oxford i see things like the various themed walking tours, whereas in London as a tourist you very much get the feel of any paid tours just hitting the major attractions/landmarks. I was talking to Victoria a while ago, and we both prefer Boston to places like NYC because Boston is more manageable and stuff.

Mandy said i'm gonna have to go to Sussex without her because she only has like a hundred dollars left ("Damn Beer Cellar," she said.). That seems to be a common sentiment among the people in the program recently. Caroline, Amy, etc. were planning a weekend in Scotland and talking about how little money they have left. The program is nearly 2/3 over. I will return to the States with a decent amount of money. Does this mean perhaps i could have afforded a weekend in Edinburgh? Probably. I certainly could have at least eaten out more frequently. (Things like Edinburgh have the added complication of obscene amounts of time spent traveling.) But being very careful with my money is ingrained into my being, and i really want to be able to afford things like textbooks when i get back to the States. Will i have done everything i would have liked to while i was here? No, due to a combination of timing, cost, meshing plans with other people, and other factors. Have i "made the most" of my time here? Maybe not in the squeezing the last drop out of it kinda way. I've had days where i just sat in my room and wrote fanfic. I've had times when i've actually been bored. But i don't like cramming my days with doing stuff. Sometimes that's good, but other times i just want mellow.

Here ends the mildly articulate entry.
i fight fire with words

The ability of people to respectfully disagree continues to impress me.

This prompted this (okay, that entry had been waiting to happen for a while really, but that entry was what triggered the actual writing of it), and now there's this, and we don't hate each other yet. And isis_grey even wants to be my friend. :)

I e-mailed my dad about the electoral college and the popular vote in the 2000 Presidential election, and wow, we know where i get my habit of lengthy, well-researched answers from, huh? Collapse )
you think you know...

There was a rainbow!

It rained a lot today, but had stopped before dinner and we were chilling in our room and then Emily, who was facing the window, said there was a rainbow and sure enough there was. Faint, so Caroline and i doubt our photos of it will come out, but still.

Dinner was good (pesto tortellini etc.) but dessert was disappointing, so i went to G&D's and splurged on an ice cream. I need to go back there 'cause they have some really yummy flavors.

Avette rubs me the wrong way, but we no longer have class together, so we will probably talk less. I kinda misinterpreted the question for this essay, which i kinda knew, and the essay at times got away from me, which i definitely knew because i could definitely feel it as i was writing, but she still gave me an A/B. I need to motivate myself to revise my previous paper for the Hofer Prize. Told Ruvani i met Peter, and she had no idea who i was talking about; oh well.

They updated "I Am Smith" and i still know people. The picture of Lauren is so bad, though, meep.

"Watch Ken get the most action he's gotten all trip." -Samantha, watching Ken and Tammy wrestle


His term's nearly over and i hadn't actually hated him yet, but pushing to "codify" marriage as being only between a man and a woman, that makes me hate him.

My senior year in high school i wrote a research paper making the case for same-sex marriage (dealing with both religious and legal as well as more basic equality arguments). It does need revision, but i think it still holds up 2 and a half years later.

(This also upsets me, but is so much more minor.)

A different kind of OMG moment is this e-mail from my father:
On the eponymous sitcom, Frasier's brother Niles used to have an unseen wife, Maris--shallow, snobby, and excrutiatingly thin--about whom many jokes were made. Several seasons ago they divorced, but the ratings are going south, and the producers may bring her back as an onscreen character, played by a real actress. One of the names batted around: Juliet Landau (My God! I didn't know her father was Martin Landau).
hermione by oatmilk

My parents should have LiveJournals, yo.

My father wrote
One of my major formative influences was the Civil Rights Movement. One of the things I took out of it was that laws are sometimes unjust, and that you may have a moral justification, maybe even a moral obligation to break those laws. Perhaps the laws were promulgated by a minority, but perhaps they had majority support. In any case, you should not automatically say, "That is the law; you must obey."

Which is why I had such a cognitive dissonance when people who I'm sure would have felt proud to march with Martin Luther King, said, "You can't do anything unless the U.N. Security Council approves. It would be illegal."

(Actually, the article is only slightly about legalities. That's just my 2 cents.)
and sent this link. The "Humanitarian intervention" section basically articulates why i supported action in Iraq.