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Hi phil,

Interesting you say Anti-American... I am presently in the USA, and have the bizarre experience of being in the bible belt.

I thought of you today and our Starbucks meeting - I am attending lectures with Brain McLaren. He told a story (which made me cry, truth be told.) Because it invovles Important People, I will keep it more anonymous, but the gist was that he has a friend, who because they are equal and expects nothing of him, has requested that BM sends all hate mail to him, so that BM need not read it on his own.

This is a really powerful story (although I am left in my own world reflecting whether Jesus would ever have asked Peter to check his hate mail...)

YOur post made me think about this again and pass it on. There is nothing wrong with doing what is right - even when others think you are wrong.

What this has to do with political liberalism I have no idea - I guess the reflection (beyond ignoring it or praying through it) is the chance to encourage you in your journey so far, and to endorse BM's thought process on this one: share the British equivalent of hate mail, and find those friends and mentors who can sustain you and Zoe through this transitionary period...

not a preach, not even advice, it just came to mind when I read your blog today.


I hadn't realised that I had to to condemn fundamentalist/militant Islam, I had just taken it for granted that anyone with a shred of human decency would loath the ideology of Bin Laden et al!
Also I do not know any muslims, nor do I ever meet any.
I am a Christian, living in a country which has been influenced by Christianity for at least 1400 years. Having been very influenced by the O.T. prophets and Jesus I am amazed and offended when people who claim to be Christians do evil things. The evil which BUSH has done and the good he has not done are way beyond "mistakes". And he's at it again, in his latest budget proposals he wants to raise more money for the Iraq war by cutting $66 billion from the Medicare scheme for the elderly and by cutting $12 billion from the Medicaid scheme for the poor in the USA.
I don't know which Bible he reads but it must be full of holes.
For the record I condemn the militant Islam of Bin Laden et al. I condemn the fascism of Saddam et al. I condemn Bush and his neocon ideologues.


I am back again ranting on about that wonderful Christian leader of the western world!
The New York Times noted that only HALF of the money Bush has spent on the Iraq war so far could have paid for healthcare for everyone and nursery education for every child in the USA, plus immunisation for every child in the world against several diseases.

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