By the time I read to the bottom I'd almost forgot the original post. It's quite a grab bag of passion, genius, sublimity and stubbornness--though rarely and obviously stubborn enough to be stupid. Having friends in very different religious vocations, and observing their faith in action, I find it hard to be patently anti-religious. The people I know do good, decent and selfless work for the most oppressed on the planet; and they are not trying to convert those they are helping. I have worked with Muslim and Jewish teenagers trying to create a common camp for children in Israel and Palestinian areas. The common bond they share is their disciplined approach to living spiritually first and never politically. I sometimes wish that as folksingers we shared that same comittment. Our anger at injustice often boils down to anti-Bush, anti Chrisitian and anti American diatribes which deafens the ears of those who we think need to hear our voice the most.
The initial post had a provocative title--and it worked. Sorry if I strayed from the original statement. A conservative friend said to me today: "I bet the average Iraqi feels less threatened by a Hum-vee than a beat up Toyota." Simplistic, but somewhat true. All I could muster in response was, "Yeah, but if we weren't there they wouldn't have to make the choice." His response: "I forgot, it's much better without choice."