I Heart Huckabee

No, not really.  I just think it's funny that there's a movie by that name and a guy running for President.  I had meant to post about Mike Huckabee when he won the Iowa straw poll last month.  I mean...came in second in the Iowa straw poll.  Mitt Romney won, but in my mind Huckabee won.  

Huckabee scares me.  Not because he's some evil, crazy conservative evangelical Christian dude, but precisely because he isn't... evil and crazy that is.

Reverend Mike Huckabee is a former Baptist minister, former governor of Arkansas - a conservative evangelical Christian with all the "right" credentials - anti-gay marriage, anti-choice.  BUT he's "progressive" when it comes to economic justice.

The Enneagram

I learned something new today - the Enneagram.  It's kinda like the Myers-Briggs, a personality "inventory."  A colleague shared it with us today. 

The word enneagram actually refers to a nine-pointed geometrical structure (just like a pentagram is five-pointed). But in terms of the enneagram of personality, it is the belief that all people fit into one of nine different personality types - nine archetypal ways in we view ourselves and the world and our relation to the world.

It's thought that these nine types originally come from Sufi beliefs, and that together the nine types of people make up "the face of God." (This is interesting to me because I know that in Islam, nine is the perfect number, the number closest to God.) In that context, contemplating the enneagram is more than just a way to understand psychological interactions, but is a means to enlightenment. 

A Dream In Doubt

I just saw a powerful documentary tonight called "A Dream in Doubt."  It follows the Singh Sodhi family and how they've struggled to reclaim their faith in America after the oldest brother of five was gunned down in Mesa, AZ, four days after the 9/11 attacks.  The family had come to the U.S. to escape religious persecution of Sikhs in Punjab, India, and they pursued the American dream with all the optimism of immigrants until 9/11.  The movie documents not only the misguided, hateful murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, but also the hostility faced by the Sikh community in general.

The screening was hosted by Interfaith Alliance Foundation:

And this is the official website for the film:

Interfaith Dialogue

The InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington is trying to transform the world towards greater mutual understanding and compassion by spreading interfaith dialogue.  To increase their reach, the plan is to train people who will facilitate such dialogues all over the greater Washington area.  In other words, they are training the trainers and I have volunteered to be one of them.

The training has gone alright.  The assembled group of volunteers is knowledgeable and enthusiastic and Mark and Nicole have shared insightful techniques and suggestions on how to have a true dialogue, as opposed to a debate or even a discussion.  But throughout there was this feeling that we wouldn't really know how to do this unless we'd experienced it for ourselves.  And so this evening that's what we did.  The facilitators broke into groups and had a dialogue.

Sanity and Insanity

On the same day that the Supreme Court refused to listen to a case of wrongful abduction and torture by our government, the president of the UUA, Bill Sinkford, delivered over 13,000 signatures to Congress from UUs from all 50 states (and DC) calling on them to end the unjust war in Iraq.

Rev Sinkford joined Rev John Thomas, president of the UCC, our much larger cousins who delivered over 60,000 signatures for a combined total of more than 73,000 signatures. (The competitive part of me must point out that we got a higher percentage of signatures from UUs given our size.)


The local paper tells me that some students on the campus of George Washington University are in trouble today because they put up fliers advertising National Islamo-facism Awareness Week. The fliers, which start off by exclaiming "Hate Muslims? So Do We!!!" goes on to list several "stereotypical features" of Muslims, such as their "lasers in eyes" and "peg-leg for smuggling children and heroin."

GW students held meetings to express their outrage over the "hate crime." The University police began investigating. And the story went out beyond the campus grounds causing a swarm of unwanted negative publicity for the university. I've heard about it in emails and on list-serves.

Global Climate Change Is a Peace Issue

Color me shocked and also tickled. As all of you probably know by now, the winner of the this years Nobel Prize for Peace was announced today and Al Gore won, along with the United Nations Panel on Climate Change. Ol' Al had been nominated for "putting climate change on the agenda."

To be honest, I did not think Gore would be picked because he is too much of a "celebrity." Alex had made a strong case for a group called Mercy Corps. But nevertheless I am delighted.


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