Hey. Remodel moving right along, and we are hoping to have tile installed by the end of the week. That means finalizing electrical and plumbing fixture purchases in the next few days.
Couple of news items caught my eye this morning. Last week, Greg (at the Parish) caught this item regarding Thomas Kinkade. Evidently, the self-proclaimed "Painter of Light" has some very shady business practices. Reading about Kinkade reminded me of a situation SOF and I ran into with some very religious business people. They merged their business philosophy with their Christian faith--which sounds fine, until you realized they weren't quite clear about those two different sides. Their response to others around them tended to vacillate between Christian ministry and hard-nosed business decision. Reminded me of the saying about baseball and management--"when you say it is a game, they say it is just business. When you say it is business, they say, "hey, it is just a game." In the case with our religious friends, it was "when you say it is a business, they call it a ministry, but when you need to get paid for that overtime, they call it a ministry."
Wasn't that they were bad people, in any way of thinking. But they weren't clear about their motives. I am more and more convinced that most Christians (especially of the evangelical type) over-simplify their religious faith and actually just assume that those "in relationship" with God will automatically learn about morality and ethics. A spiritual osmosis, as it were. But it does not work that way, and the most recent debate about torture is the best example. Ethics and morality, I am more and more convinced, require an open conversation and dialogue. These issues have to be introduce and framed, or most people will not even really consider them. Many I have seen understand the basics of "not stealing" and not "sleeping with the neighbor's wife." But they haven't really examined how their Christian faith might translate into business ethics, and they certainly haven't grappled with how their Christian faith might not be in line with American patriotism or capitalism.
Which, to switch topics ever so slightly, might explain how so many churches have adopted the advertising and marketing gimmicks to attract people to their churches. In this case, evidently parking some Nascar racing cars outside the church, which Greg makes funnier than I thought possible.
Lord knows Peggy Noonan annoys me quite frequently, as she did when she said of torture and the Bush people that somethings in life needed to remain "mysterious." But she is correct here when she points out the silly nature of the McCain/Republican criticism of Obama on Iran.
Speaking of Republicans, I had an interesting conversation (or at least began one) last week on the issue of tort reform and health care. I am coming around, at least in principle, to the idea that we need to do something to protect against some of these lawsuits as they are contributing to the rising cost of care. But I don't understand the Republican impulse to both rein in lawsuits, and also deregulate industry. How can you say to the American people that they shouldn't be able to sue the manufacturer of some item, but they shouldn't expect some reasoned oversight and regulation of that same item? I could understand one or the other, but both?
It, added to the mantra from the right about health care, make me very suspicious that Republicans (talking about those in Congress, not everyone in the country) care really only about corporate profits.
Ok. Enough of that. My contractor just lent me his Sawzall and I am going to use it on a stubborn overflow pipe in my garden pond. Heh.