Updates from July, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • ivanildotrindade 6:56 pm on July 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forgiveness, iranian woman,   

    hero of the day: Ameneh Bahrami, who forgave the man who disfigured her face with acid and left her blind: http://www.womenswatchinc.org/​blog/acid-scarred-face-woman-f​orgives-attacker/. what do u think of iran’s “an eye for an eye” law?

     
    • marlin 7:49 am on September 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I used to live that way. It is a harsh and straight foreword life. It sounds “good to the ear” till it bites at you and ones you love. With good reason it is said, mercy covers sin, those who live by the sword… and those who forgive will be….

      So, what is right? You decide but the truth is…that what sounds good to the ear must at some point be paid for, what is “paid back” is also paid back and then paid back and then paid back… because what wins over people is not a chopped off hand and if you do not win people over, you win nothing. If you shock people with love when they deserve pay back… you win them over for life.

    • marlin 8:02 am on September 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Correction… what I said works well one on one, not necessarily in a court of law, and yet our legal system would do well to allow Judges have an ability to deviate on behalf of mercy.

      • ivanildotrindade 7:00 pm on September 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        that’s good, marlin, we all can use a little extra mercy. we’ve all been “mercied” in one way or another, but this woman blew me away… very courageous.

  • ivanildotrindade 5:44 pm on July 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: end of the u. n., natan sharanski, peace in the middle east   

    The man spent 12 years in a Soviet… 

    The man spent 12 years in a Soviet Gulag. He should have something to say about how to face adversity and come out stronger at the end. It turns out Mr. Sharanski has a lot more to say in his book “The Case for Democracy,” which I just finished reading. It is a very clearly articulated presentation on how to achieve freedom in the Middle East. Obviously Mr. Sharanski is a self-proclaimed “Zionist,” and he is not exactly un-biased — nobody is. But if you read him, you will have a hard time not agreeing with his basic premise, which is that tyrannical leaders can never be positive brokers on the road to peace. Those who oppress their own people can never be trusted when negotiating for peace in their country or any other part of the world. Mr. Sharanski brings moral clarity to this debate when he differentiates between “free” societies and “fear” societies, which the old Soviet regime was.

    Here is an excerpt from his conclusion, “To protect and promote democracy around the world, I believe that a new international institution, one in which only those governments who give their people the right to be heard and counted will themselves have a right to be heard and counted can be an enormously important force for democratic change. Such a coalition of free nations could turn a government’s preservation of the right to dissent — the town square test — into the standard of international legitimacy. Countries that fail to meet this standard would not be accepted into the community of nations. They would be shunned and sanctioned, and the people they repress would be embraced and supported.”

    Some people would say that is tantamount to ethnic determinism or cultural arrogance — who are we to say that this country oppresses its people while that one doesn’t? Which standard will we use to measure, Saudi Arabia or Sweden? Say what you may but it is a little pathetic to me that not too long ago Libya was chairing the Human Rights Committee in the U. N. I think Iraq had its turn as well during the Saddam era, and Sudan… Could Mr. Sharanski be advocating for the end of the U.N.?

    Mr. Sharanski convinced me to read his autobiography, “Fear no Evil.”

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 4:24 pm on July 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christian symbols in public places, world trade center memorial   

    atheist group files lawsuit to remove cross from the WTC memorial. against the cross: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jul/29/wtc-cross-9-11-atheist. for the cross: http://www.christianpost.com/news/atheists-want-cross-removed-from-ground-zero-museum-52837/ what do u think?

     
  • ivanildotrindade 1:08 pm on July 29, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: atheist conversation, incest, morals, right and wrong   

    So here is a conversation I had yesterday… 

    So here is a conversation I had yesterday with someone who doesn’t believe in God and has a specific view of what is morally wrong — as long as no one gets hurt, it is okay to do it (I am simplifying things here, obviously, but that is the gist of it).

    The subject was incest. This person does not believe that incest is “wrong.” “It may be weird, but it is not wrong.” Basically, if it is between two consenting adults and no one gets hurt, we have no business telling them that this is wrong. My position is just the opposite: Incest is morally wrong.

    “But in some cultures, incest is totally fine and no one complains about anything.” “Yes, but that does not mean that because some group practices something it automatically grants it status as morally acceptable.” Then why is incest wrong?

    My answer: “Because it is a dad and a daughter or a mom and a son. This relationship should be inviolable. This sort of trust should never be broken. When a dad engages his daughter in sexual intercourse, something about that unique relationship of trust between a dad and a daughter is disrupted and it can never be rebuilt again.”

    Also, I added, there is something inherently deviant about this type of relationship because it can produce offspring with genetic defects that will be harmful to the human race as a whole. “But,” the person retorted, “I don’t think that is normally the way incest goes. It’s usually a fling, a transitory thing, not a lasting relationship where offspring is produced.” “But when it does produce offspring, it does not serve the cause of advancing the human species,” I said, because I know that this person also believes that we should only do things that help the human race advance:  for example, murder is wrong because it does not benefit the human race. But in what ways could one say that an incest or a series of incests would benefit the human race?

    So I expanded the argument a little more: “So you say that as long as no one gets hurt, it is okay, right?” There was a nod on the other side. “What about the five-year old granddaughter, who until recently looked to that man as her bearded grandfather, the picture of kindness and purity himself? Imagine a 50-year old grandpa coming home after a family vacation on the Cayman’s and announcing to the family that he was in love with his own daughter and that they were going to live together? Can you picture the five-year old granddaughter getting all excited and asking if she could be the flower girl at the wedding? Wouldn’t she be a bit confused, bewildered, or at least spooked by this whole thing?”

    The answer surprised me, “If she would be hurt it would not be because of the incest but because of what she believes about incest. Besides, she may be too young to understand all that stuff anyway.” “So you mean to tell me that you are more sympathetic to the older guy who decides to go to bed with his own daughter than you are toward a five-year old who needs to be protected from this type of stuff?” “Oh, you want to play the sympathy card? What if this guy has cancer and finds out he only has a short time to live? What if he is old and doesn’t have much time left? The little girl still has her whole life ahead of her…”

    I pressed the issue, “Do you think there is a chance that little girl might get hurt from the incest? And I mean emotionally, psychologically, spiritually? Is there a chance?” “Well, if she is hurt, it is because of what society has taught her about incest.” “But could she get hurt?” I insisted. “I guess she could.” “Then wouldn’t that necessitate that you slightly modify your premise that says that ‘as long as no one gets hurt, it is okay?'” “What about other people in that family, couldn’t they get hurt too? Their church, their community? Shouldn’t you really be saying ‘as long as the two of them don’t hurt each other and who cares about the rest of the world?'”

    And the conversation kept going around circles from there regarding what it means to get hurt, how long until you can determine if someone got hurt or not, etc., etc.

    I am reproducing this conversation here to the best of my ability to hopefully help all of us to better engage the people of this generation for whom God is irrelevant or non-existent, consequently, there is no moral law-giver, no absolute moral code to which one should try to adhere.

    What was most fascinating about this conversation last night was that I purposefully avoided saying “God says this…” or “In Romans 8, Paul says…” Or even “incest is wrong because it is against the will of God.” At a certain point in the conversation, the person tried to say that I said that incest was wrong because God said so, and I quickly corrected the record saying, “I haven’t brought up God or the Bible into this conversation, you are the one who is doing it right now.” “Yeah, but you are dancing around the issue,” was the answer.

    Maybe I was, but had I brought up God or the Bible, the conversation would not go very far. I would have been accused of the very thing I was falsely being accused of now. There will be other opportunities with this person and I trust God will give me the wisdom to know what to do next time.

    Please post your thoughts here about this conversation. Let me know what you would have done differently. I am open to your suggestions because I will see this person again.

    Ivanildo C. Trindade

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:04 pm on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    i just bought the domain name ivanildotrindade.com. i feel like i am somebody now. after over 50 years i now have my own domain. i feel like someone who just got his own estate, except this one only costs $25 per year. who would’ve thought that one day i would own a domain? i am humbled… lol, lol

     
  • ivanildotrindade 2:01 pm on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: christian lyrics, love the Jew, secular music   

    “Baptizing” Beatles songs 

    I was in the home of a leader of a conservative church in PA. My wife and I were having dinner with him and his wife. He had some music playing in the background. He said, “Do you recognize this song?” I thought to myself, “You gotta be kidding, who wouldn’t?” I started humming the song, along with the cd and said, “Love me do.” He goes, “Not quite…” I listened more carefully and realized that the lyrics actually said “Love the Jews.” It was a parody of the widely popular Beatles song, “God loves the Jews/ you know I have proof/ our Lord was one too/ so please, love the Jews…” and on and on it goes. I thought to myself again, “This is the silly thing I ever heard.” But am glad I didn’t voice my opinion out loud because the guy went on to tell me about this group called “Apologetix,” who put Christian lyrics to some secular songs from the 60’s. Then he burst with enthusiasm saying, “These guys have redeemed every one of my songs from the 60’s.”

    Now my wife and I have always love Beatles songs. We used to have these times when we play them almost non-stop. For us superimposing “Christian” lyrics on a Beatles song is totally unnecessary and I would even say it ruins the songs…

    I understand why some people who were hard core into the sixties sex and rock and roll thing would need some spiritualizing of secular songs to justify enjoying them, but that is not the case for us. We had just been born in the 60’s and were too young to party hard. We discovered the Beatles later on when the rage had subsidized. So I respect those who feel otherwise. But if that were the case for someone, wouldn’t want to stay away period?

    Why do some Christians feel like they have to “Christian coat” stuff in order to enjoy it? Why are we so afraid of secular arts and music as if there is none that is in good taste? Do we really think that sprinkling some Christian lingo into some secular songs can really rid us of the associations that once made them so sinful to us? Or are doing this to alleviate our conscience? Can we really “baptize” a Beatles song?

    If you want to listen to “Love the Jews” check it here and then tell me what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiBhFWmFa2U

     
  • ivanildotrindade 10:56 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: nascar prayer, product placement prayer, unusual prayers   

    product placement prayer? 

    so how far up to the heaven do u think this prayer went? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J74y88YuSJ8&feature=player_embedded If prayer is talking WITH God, do u think he did it? he said he wanted to make prayer more interesting 2 people who are not religious. i guess he succeeded with that, but is that what the purpose of prayer is? i would be interested in your comments on what prayer is 4 u. i would love 2 know.

     
  • ivanildotrindade 1:21 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: friendly atheist, hermant, mehta, sold my soul on e-bay   

    I am reading the book “I Sold My Soul on E-bay” by Hemant Mehta. I am reading this book to learn how to be more effective in talking to my son and others like him (no, don’t worry, my son’s soul is still in place, at least as far as I am concerned). This book makes an incredulous claim: a 20 something atheist tells me that he can actually help my church reach out more effectively to people like him! So far, after three chapters, I am enjoying what I am reading, even if I don’t agree with everything. I am mostly intrigued. Here is an excerpt: “When I visit a church, I pay attention more carefully, I would think, than many who attend regularly. I can share honest opinions and fresh insights because all of this is largely new to me. Plus, I can express genuine feedback because I’m not a member of the church. Really, how many people would tell their own pastor that sitting through his sermons is akin to entering a thirty minute coma?” This book was published by a Christian Publishing House and it comes accompanied by a Study Guide for small groups at the end. You can read more about Mehta’s story here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Sold_My_Soul_on_eBay. U can also read his blog: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/

     
  • ivanildotrindade 11:37 am on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Swallowing my words 

    I’ve got several responses (not here but through FB, e-mail, and personal conversations) about my last couple of posts.

    I used the wrong pronoun (we) when I said “what are we supposed to call them…” in my “Bloombrides” post. That promotes the “us” and “them” mentality and it also assumes that there is a mass out there that is asking that same question I am, which may not be true. My apologies if my language was offensive.

    I also have had conversations with family members who thought that “I took down a drug dealer” was too much of an attempt to get credit for something I didn’t really do on my own. One family member suggested I should have titled the post “God took down a drug dealer.” Ouch. I’m embarrassed I may have come across as a church rambo. It was not my intention.

    Someone told me she wrote comments and then deleted them before sending them. I was sad. This is what blogs are for — to encourage a continual dialogue. I hope you will post your comments here.

    Posted by Ivanildo C. Trindade via Blackberry

     
    • Pat 12:09 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Ivanildo, Over the years I have found that no matter WHAT you say or HOW you say it someone is going to critisize you for it. Just stick up for God and his values and don’t worry about it….you obviously hit a nerve…if you didn’t THEN I would be concerned. Keep up the good work and don’t start second guessing what God puts in your mouth to say. You are obviously a man of God and some people just don’t like it.

      • ivanildotrindade 1:00 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        thanks, pat, there are some hills we should charge and others we should just let be. oftentimes it is hard 2 know which is which but we try our best. i keep thinking of the advice from peter: “DO IT WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT.” perhaps i failed in that regard, but is the above post second guessing? That is what is good about this blog format: you can have an ongoing conversation and that is why this dialogue is so helpful to me. thanks for your words of encouragement!

    • Karen 12:30 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You know what they say about assumption… Well, in regards to the Bloombrides & Bloomgrooms, it was most offensive to me to turn on the tv and see Mayor Bloomberg uniting two men in what I know as the sacred sacrament of Holy Matrimony. My Bible tells me marriage is between one man and one woman. I’m not in favor of gay/lesbian practices, nor am I coming to your defense in writing this article. It is truth that there are others that feel the way I do, so I don’t assume anything. Also, there will be ones who possibly don’t know you that will read your blog. To them you may have come across as a Rambo, but, trust me, the ones who do know you already know that you are not the Rambo type. They know that you are the gentle man who goes out of his way not to offend anyone, a man who seeks to do God’s will and further His kingdom, not yours! Actually, I was quite surprised that you spoke those words to that drug dealer. ( I know you speak your mind, but are you trying to get whacked?) We know that God used you to get though to the drug dealer. In these perilous times, sometimes we need to do the drastic…step out on a limb, so to speak. So, brother, keep speaking your mind, but keep your running shoes on. My Bible tells me that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. God’s got your back! As for Amy, I never heard of her before.

      • ivanildotrindade 12:55 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        karen, u r partial. u worked 4 me before. ha, ha. i understand how u got offended. our world is changing so drastically it is so easy 4 us to lose our footing. ravi zacharias said once, quoting someone else that there are 1,000 angles at which one may fall and only one at which one can stand tall. having said that, i also do believe that the church as a whole has failed to reach out in love to people who are homosexual. there is so much hatred going around and i wish that we would be learn to dialogue with people who think radically different from us (and this is true 4 the other side 2!). we do a terrible job at that. and i think God will hold us accountable 4 that one day.

        • Karen 2:57 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink

          Yes, I am partial…, but I’m still going to blog my mind, if you’ll put up with it. LOL! I agree,( trying not to be partial) that the church has failed in reaching out to the homosexual. I don’t know how to dialogue with them, they do think RADICALLY different from me. There are homosexuals in our family, on both sides. I personally know them, and love them but fail to reach them with the love of Christ. My daughter in law is ‘ agnostic – passionately,’ her words, and that is a hard one. So, we just love like the Bible tells us to, one another, and let the minority change values (not to mention laws) that have been in place since God created Adam & Eve? It’s no wonder we don’t know how to dialogue with them…It’s not natural. I’m clearly missing something.

        • ivanildotrindade 9:55 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink

          talked 2 my son tonight about the rambo thing. his comment. “I was actually embarrassed your legs were shaking, dad. don’t know what to make of that.” thanks, son, u saved the day. it’s the proof i needed that i was not trying to show off and your sharp perception caught it it. thanks!

      • ivanildotrindade 6:14 pm on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        “So, we just love like the Bible tells us to, one another, and let the minority change values (not to mention laws) that have been in place since God created Adam & Eve?” So Karen, r u less offended when we (christians) change the values (and laws) about divorce? is it easy 4 us 2 talk 2 divorced people than to same sex couples? just asking…

  • ivanildotrindade 8:09 pm on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Yesterday on front page of the New York… 

    Yesterday, on front page of the New York Times: a picture of Mayor Bloomberg and two of his male staff members he had just married. One of the guys looks happy, the other, exhausted, even bewildered, a nightmarish picture for a “bride” who was just given away. I wonder if that picture symbolizes the feeling of unsettleness some of us have over this whole issue. Do you feel it?

    By the way, what should we call them, “the bride and the bride”? “The groom and the groom”? “The brides”? “The grooms?” Linguists, sharpen your tongues! How about “Bloombrides”? Or “Bloomgrooms”?

    Posted by Ivanildo C. Trindade via Blackberry

    Correction: after looking at the picture again tonight, it is actually the Mayor who looks “bewildered.” My apologies to the happy “brides.”

     
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