i am back from the first set of interviews. washington state was quite beautiful, although the dirty grey snow back east and the brown stubble slowly emerging from beneath it is not really much competition for cherry blossom on the trees and daffodils all over. i flew back last night, which meant i kind of missed purim. sweeties at the one congregation gave me a bag of hamantaschen (all mohn as well, since i'd ranted about my purist preference at some point during the interview). aaaaah, bless.
i haven't really watched television since august. having been a complete junkie my whole life (i got my own tiny black and white portable for my batmitzvah, and my mother said i did not leave my room again for several years ... and that was when there were only 3 channels), i just never got round to getting cable service hooked up. strange things have happened since then - i have read a lot more books, and they were nothing to do with work. sometimes i go to bed before midnight and turn out the light and go to sleep. i have discovered delphine marcus on wmnr! nu - the hotel rooms i stayed in during the interviews all had tv with cable, and i did watch a bit now and then. i saw the movie 'matilda', which was fun, and most of the rest of the time the machine was on, i left it on cnn. do not like them, but they seemed preferable to the other alternatives i tested. thus, i am now an expert on the case of terri shiavo, if having heard about it afternoon, evening and morning may be a qualification. the main comment i remember is some viewer writing in to respond to the question: should the supreme court hear this case? the reply was: absolutely. after all, we have to ... day after day after day!
the blogosphere is overflowing with comments from all points of view. don't want to clog it up with another blog. simply, two issues for me: that of right to life/death, and the bush family's apparent ignorance of the separation of powers, e.g., government and judiciary, that are at the root of u.s. democracy. through maimon's blogspot, i floated around and landed on this quote from andrew sullivan's site:
"THE HYSTERIA MOUNTS: I'm beginning to wonder if the Republican party will soon oppose the whole concept of an independent judiciary. Just read William Bennett's screed in National Review. It contains the sentence: "It is a mistake to believe that the courts have the ultimate say as to what a constitution means." Bennett and his co-author argue that Jeb Bush should send in state troops to reinsert the feeding tube and break the law if necessary. Screw the science. Screw the court system. Screw the law. I disagree with Jonah that this is a minor spat with no long-term consequences. We are looking directly at the real face of contemporary Republicanism. Sane, moderate, thoughtful people are watching this circus and will not soon forget it."
where are the sane, moderate, thoughtful people? "if you're not with me, you're agin me!" seems to be the message of the moment: if you won't fight for this woman's life, then you must be an advocate for murder; and if you won't acknowledge that euthanasia is morally permissible, then you must be a right-wing religious nut. all er nuthin. one more quote i found interesting:
"QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Here's the question I ask of these right-to-lifers, including Vatican bishops: as we enter into Holy Week and we proclaim that death is not triumphant and that with the power of resurrection and the glory of Easter we have the triumph of Christ over death, what are they talking about by presenting death as an unmitigated evil? It doesn’t fit Christian context. Richard McCormick, who was the great Catholic moral theologian of the last 25 years, wrote a brilliant article in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1974 called "To Save or Let Die." He said there are two great heresies in our age (and heresy is a strong word in theology — these are false doctrines). One is that life is an absolute good and the other is that death is an absolute evil. We believe that life was created and is a good, but a limited good. Therefore the obligation to sustain it is a limited one. The parameters that mark off those limits are your capacities to function as a human." - Jesuit theologian Rev John J. Paris, on how the religious right is deploying heresy in its absolutism in the Terri Schiavo case. I couldn't agree more. What some of these people are about is not respect for life, but its fetishization."
again from andrew sullivan's page. not that one must die asap to get to the next level since it is going to be so much better, but for those with a strong belief in an afterlife in heaven with god, jesus and the angels, well ...