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Douglas Carpenter

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Corry (Erie County), Pennsylvania 16407
Home country: USA
Current location: Saipan, U.S. Commonweath of the Northern Mariana Islands
Member since: Wed Jun 1, 2005, 08:56 PM
Number of posts: 18,446

Journal Archives

State of Belief Radio: Drones and “Just Peace Theory” also Rev. Jennifer Butler on the ACA

For those who are not familiar State of Belief Radio is a weekly program produced by the Interfaith Alliance and hosted by the Rev. Welton Gaddy:


October 26, 2013: Drones and “Just Peace Theory”

By Jonathan Craig on October 26, 2013

This weekend on State of Belief, hear how two often political, contemporary issues, health care and the use of drones, define who we are morally and spiritually. Also, learn about the experiences and challenges of raising children to “be both” in an interfaith family. Download Icon

A Moral Right: The Affordable Care Act Stumbles Out of the Gate

The rollout and implementation of the Affordable Care Act got off to a rocky start over the past few weeks, making it easy for opponents to find fault with, poke fun at and otherwise politicize an initiative that ultimately advances an idea few can honestly disagree with: in the richest country in the world, people should not be deprived of access to health care. Joining Welton on the show this week is the Rev. Jennifer Butler to talk about the real mandate for universal access to health care: morality. Rev. Butler is the founding CEO of Faith in Public Life, a strategy center to uphold faith as a powerful force for justice and the common good.

Drones and “Just Peace Theory”

This week two leading human rights organizations – Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch – released reports about the toll on civilian lives being taken by the use of drones in Pakistan and Yemen. Directly challenging our collective national conscience, the reports raise disturbing questions about the country’s use of armed, unmanned drones half a world away. Highly-respected ethicist and theologian Dr. Glen Stassen is on State of Belief to explore how we justify the loss of innocent lives in drone strikes and the ethics of military force – and the applicability of “Just Peace Theory,” which he has taken the leading role in developing. Dr. Stassen is the Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in California, and author of numerous books, including Just Peacemaking: Transforming Initiatives for Justice and Peace.

Raised to be Both

Nearly a third of married Americans have spouses of a different religious background, which means that for some families raising their children in the traditions of only one parent’s religion doesn’t cut it. Some parents are now raising their children to “be both.” In her brand-new book, Being Both: Embracing Two Religions in One Interfaith Family, Susan Katz Miller discusses being raised Jewish in an interfaith family before raising her own children, with her Christian husband, to reflect both parents religious identities. Susan shares her experiences with us on this weekend’s episode of State of Belief

- See more at: http://stateofbelief.com/showarchive/2013/drones-and-just-peace-theory/#sthash.ue9LHbZa.dpuf
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sun Oct 27, 2013, 10:36 AM (12 replies)

How does a bill work?

From the Facebook page - Being Liberal:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Oct 25, 2013, 02:20 PM (1 replies)

Let’s all laugh at Ann Coulter, right-wing performance artist

my own note: I have wondered this at times - I'm not even sure if I agree with this author - but - What can I say? Is it possible that Ann Coulter is no doubt a right-wing ideologue - but most of her public commentary is as our British friends might say "taking a piss"? I don't know, maybe -- D.C.

Let’s all laugh at Ann Coulter, right-wing performance artist

Really, laugh -- her right-wing shtick is the same high-level performance art as Stephen Colbert

By Chris Sosa for salon.com

Ann Coulter (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

In a way, Ann Coulter ceased to be any semblance of a genuine conservative fighter the moment she became known as a major conservative voice. Facts were replaced with detached, often hilarious, political rhetoric that amounted to little more than hot polemic air. Take this quote from “How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)”:

“Like the Democrats, Playboy just wants to liberate women to behave like pigs, have sex without consequences, prance about naked, and abort children.” (2004)

While liberals had a collective meltdown, this quote could be attributed to Lisa Lampanelli with no fanfare whatsoever. It’s a matter of context. Ann Coulter had found the perfect recipe: treating news spaces as comedy platforms where she could deliberately make ridiculous statements to infuriate liberals who would be too dense to notice what was going on. But her performance requires equal condescension to conservatives, without whom the Coulter brand would disappear. Coulter knows her performance hurts the right, and she clearly doesn’t care.

Coulter is often dismissed as a schoolyard bully, but the only thing that really separates her from any mainstream comedian is the platform. Perhaps this is why Coulter counts noted anti-conservative comedians Bill Maher and Joy Behar among her personal friends, appearing with them on-air numerous times over the years. All three are individuals who find large swaths of the American public stupid beyond repair and make a living out of taunting them. Highlighting absurdity by viciously lobbing it back at people is the heart of political comics’ gold standard: George Carlin.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Fri Oct 25, 2013, 09:48 AM (17 replies)

another outstanding documentary in full - the Oscar nominated - Jesus Camp

I think between Marjoe exposing the con artist side and Jesus Camp showing the sincerely self-deceived side - the two documentaries give a reasonable view of modern America Pentecostal - a movement I spent about seven years of my life deeply involved in - more than 33 years ago. ON the other hand from the early 70's - back in Marjoe days to the more recent times - in Jesus Camp days - white American Pentecostalism went from being for the most part an apolitical working class and poor peoples' revivalist movement to being to a large extent (but not entirely, to be fair) a right-wing heavily politicized middle and upper middle class religious movement - as it moved from the revival tent to the suburban megachurch.

Here it is in full Jesus Camp:

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Oct 24, 2013, 04:25 PM (5 replies)

Marjoe - on youtube - the full 1972 Oscar winning documentary about the con-artist boy preacher

This is one hell of a film to watch. It won the Oscar for best documentary in 1972 - It is one hour and 28 minutes long. This is the true story about the life of the child evangelist, Marjoe Gortner whose con-artist parents forced him to preach and then collected a fortune off of him. He ran away when he was 14 but discovered later on when he was in his early twenties that to make a decent living he would return to his preaching and fleecing. It is an incredible film and an incredible story prior to deciding to work with a film crew to do an expose film on himself.

This is a great documentary and there are any number of this kind of con artist. But it would be a mistake to imagine that all or most fundamentalist/Pentecostal type preachers are conscious and intentional con artist. There are a lot more poor preachers than there are rich ones. The biggest problem lies not with the willful con artist preachers - but with the true believers who spread this destructive and self-destructive message - not out of avarice but out of complete and utter sincerity.

I want to make it clear that I am not anti-religious - as anyone who knows me already knows - but I do think all forms of blind faith and absolutism whether secular or religious are intrinsically dangerous and harmful both personally to the individual and collectively to society and the world.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Oct 24, 2013, 07:09 AM (6 replies)

Tennessee couple accused of selling daughters as young as 6 years old to pornographers

When I hear of crimes like this - I am not filled with bloodlust desires for "justice" I am just saddened and baffled.

A couple from eastern Tennessee was arrested on Saturday and charged with crimes relating to having rented out their daughters, aged 5 to 16, to pornographers.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ronnie Lee McCall and his wife, Connie Sue, forced their daughters to perform sex acts on film in and around Johnson City, Tennessee. The case came to the office’s attention after it learned that one of the children had been driven to South Carolina in order to make a pornographic film.

The 6-year-old was covered in head and body lice, had flea bites and evidence of ring worm infection. All the children also suffered from severe dental problems.

“The amount of tooth decay, you can imagine, was extremely painful. She had black teeth, and holes in all the teeth, just really inexcusable,” Investigator Debbie Dunn of the Johnson City


Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 07:13 AM (3 replies)

GOP, Boehner take shutdown hit in new CNN poll

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN) -- Just more than half the public says that it's bad for the country that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, according to a new national poll conducted after the end of the partial government shutdown.

And the CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that more than six in 10 Americans say that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced.

The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, just after the end of the 16-day partial federal government shutdown that was caused in part by a push by House conservatives to try and dismantle the health care law, which is President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

According to the survey, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/21/politics/cnn-poll-gop-boehner-shutdown/index.html
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Mon Oct 21, 2013, 06:49 AM (21 replies)

Todd Friel (Unwisely) Interviews Christopher Hitchens about God and tries to trap him.. but

I don't much care for Christopher Hitchens - I think he was a pompous ass and a war monger with an outlandishly dogmatic version of atheism - but to give the devil his dues - this is really good.

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Oct 19, 2013, 04:23 PM (28 replies)

Q&A on Egypt with Noam Chomsky - Oct 2013 - sponsored by the MIT Egyptian Student Association

Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Sat Oct 19, 2013, 07:36 AM (0 replies)

As much fun as it might be - neither Ted Cruz or Rand Paul are going to be the GOP nominee in 2016

Whoever the nominee of either major party is - it is going to be someone who at least minimally past muster with the financial powers and with the military and foreign policy establishment. That would be true of any nominee from either party - but even more true with the Republicans. Both Sen. Cruz and Sen. Paul would simply not be acceptable.

The same way that the big boys of the Republican Party knew they had to pull out all stops and go behind the backs of the base and the GOP infotainment industry to stop the kooks from threatening a financial default - they will do the same to make sure that a Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or like minded character does not become the nominee of their party. Of course that still leaves room for someone else pretty crazy. In facts part of the service that a Ted Cruz or Rand Paul does for the right-wing is that they make crazies like a Mike Huckabee or a Rick Santorum look a little less crazy by comparison. This week has been a great blow to the Tea Party and their credibility. However, that wing of the party has been around and influential long before anyone spoke of the "Tea Party" movement. It is certainly not possible for the Republican Party to ditch that wing of the party even if they may distance themselves from the name. It is after all the religious nuts and the Bircher type conspiracy theorist who do make up the bulk of the foot soldiers who actually go out and drag people to the polls. So, we may very well see someone pretty crazy as the GOP nominee in 2016 - but it will not be Ted Cruz or Rand Paul - It may very well be someone who was not centrally involved in this particular fiasco and who is made to look a bit less crazy when put next to a Ted Cruz or a Rand Paul.
Posted by Douglas Carpenter | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 05:32 AM (18 replies)
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