Isn't that a lovely picture? It's the sixth day of Christmas, after all, and so instead of geese a-laying I'm giving you Mary and Eve. It's from the Anchoress, and drawn by Sister Grace Remington.
On to progressively more worldly matters...
Apparently, religious people have more self-discipline than those who are spiritual but don't subscribe to one particular set of beliefs. I think the researcher who did this work is right in his conclusion that religion can imbue our daily lives with a sense of the sacred, but his solution is way off the mark:
“People can have sacred values that aren’t religious values,” he said. “Self-reliance might be a sacred value to you that’s relevant to saving money. Concern for others might be a sacred value that’s relevant to taking time to do volunteer work. You can spend time thinking about what values are sacred to you and making New Year’s resolutions that are consistent with them.”
So if I decide a value is sacred to me then it makes it easier to act in a way consistent with that value. Which is a great idea except that the sacred doesn't emerge from within me, or from within you. (I hope I'm not the first to tell you that.) God alone is holy, as the Psalms tell us repeatedly, and our religious practices are just an imperfect but worthy way to share in that holiness.
Hey! Look at this! Chrysler just wanted to say thanks...I think we know a little of why they're in financial difficulty. Our tax dollars at work, ugh. Apparently these add purchases cost in excess of a million dollars. I know, compared with the $4 billion they'll soon receive it doesn't seem like much, but it seems to reflect the same attitude that led the CEOs to take their private jets to beg for bail-out money.
Congressional watch: Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is coming under increasing fire for being a Friend of Angelo. Good. He looks dirty and this matter needs to be made clear. Charlie Rangel, of New York, is already in hot water (we hope) over his tax evasion problems; now it's come out that he even is using campaign funds to pay parking tickets. (via Instapundit, Rangel's fate apparently hangs in the balance right now...good) And Franken, who's not in the Senate yet, looks poised to take the seat in Minnesota. I was born in Minnesota, but thankfully left before the lake-water craziness could overtake me. What are they thinking up there??!!
Let's see, what else? Oh, the Flight 93 families are encouraging the federal government to just confiscate the land where their loved ones' remains lay. I understand their wanting the memorial, and I think it should be treated as the cemetery that it is. But the land is owned by a quarry and the owners should be compensated. If they don't want to deal with the Feds, then pressure them buy publicizing the process, or by trying to buy the land yourself and then donating it to the government. I'm reading Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism right now; what these families are proposing is using the muscle (and guns) of the government to further their goals. I don't want to throw the term around the term, but this looks like fascism to me.
This was a long post! Lots to look at. Don't forget to post what you got for Christmas...see below!