My new haircut is super-short. It is also super-cute. I'm not super-sold on it yet, though.

religion and politics
In light of Fiscus's Oct. 13 blog post about the Catholic church's condemnation of Kerry voters, I found yesterday's sermon at church very interesting. The lesson was on the Genesis passage about Jacob, a.k.a. Israel, wrestling with God. Pastor Dave wove this story into politics and the role of the church during an election year. So often, faith is depicted as a cakewalk. Au contraire, he said; faith is not a black and white area, and neither is politics. He brought up the National Council of Churches' Christian Principles in an Election Year as a means to help Christians in making educated decisions on how to vote. Nowhere do the Principles endorse any specific candidate, nor do they mention any political parties. Instead, they call upon people to use their (God-given) intelligence when evaluating the candidates, rather than commanding parishoners to vote a certain way.

An overview of the principles:
+ War is contrary to the will of God...We look for political leaders who will make peace with justice a top priority and who will actively seek nonviolent solutions to conflict.
+ God calls us to live in communities shaped by peace and cooperation...We look for political leaders who will re-build our communities and bring an end to the cycles of violence and killing.
+ God created us for each other, and thus our secutity depends on the well being of our global neighbors. We look for political leaders for whom a foreign policy based on cooperation and global justice is an urgent concern.
+ ...We look for political leaders who yearn for economic justice and who will seek to reduce the growing disparity between rich and poor.
+ ...We look for political leaders who actively promote racial justice and equal opportunity for everyone.
+ ...We look for political leaders who recognize the earth's goodness, champion environmental justice, and uphold our responsibility to be stweards of god's creation.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will pursue fair immigration policies and speak out against xenophobia.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will support adequate, affordable and accessible health care for all.
+ ...We look for political leaders who seek a restorative, not retributive, approach to the criminal justive system and the individuals within it.
+ ...We look for political leaders who will advocate for equal educational opportunity and abundant funding for children's services.

the aunts are coming! the aunts are coming!
My dad's youngest sister, sisters-in-law and a cousin of his are arriving today. Our house is going to be a week-long hen party. I get the (quite comfy) couch.

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