In my last blog post, Hey! Music in the 80's wasn't that bad! IMHO, I mentioned that many times I listen to blog posts while walking my dog, Misty. I also like to start my day listening to Northwest Public Radio, specifically Morning Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, and On Point with Tom Ashbrook. Today was no different.
I discovered a new book I want to read on Morning Edition in an interview with Sandip Roy ("Family Secrets -- And Mango Chutney -- In 'Don't Let Him Know'"). I got an update on the Iranian nuclear negotiations on The Diane Rehm Show ("Prospects for an Agreement to Limit Iran's Nuclear Program"). And, I had to give up listening to On Point halfway through because the leader of the so-called "Freedom Caucus", Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), was making me have violent ideations ("Political Pressures Weigh on Homeland Security Funding").
On my walk, I learned about the composer John Tavener on Composers Datebook from American Public Media; learned about the power of food critics and when a flag should be lowered to half-mast (at least in the British Isles) on the Today Programme from BBC Radio 4; and visited pre-election Greece, the World Economic Forum in Davos, devastating floods in Malawi, Auschwitz on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazis, and South Georgia on From Our Own Correspondent, also from Radio 4.
One of the great things about this habit is it usually gets me thinking about different things. And this morning was no different. One statement that got me thinking was from the Composers Datebook program ("Tavener's "The Whale"") and the second item was from this morning's The Diane Rehm Show that was previously mentioned.
Let's start with Composers Datebook and Sir John Tavener. Apparently after a near-death experience, Tavener's approach towards composing and his compositions completely changed. One of the statements in the podcast was that "religious tradition held that whatever was spontaneous was true." Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but let's say it was. That's what got me to thinking.
If religious tradition holds that, it would seem to be antithetical and contradictory to organized religion. After all, how much spontaneity is there in the Catholic Mass or showing up to church every Sunday? Or in praying every Friday in the local Mosque?
Or, let's take my erstwhile religion as an example, the Mormons.
I joined the Church over 20 years ago and I always had a sense of not being like the others. But I stayed because I believed in the message of the Mormons, more specifically, the message that Joseph Smith brought back from the Sacred Grove.
But more recently I have stopped going. Why? Because the current Church seems to be sending the wrong message. They seem to be standing for things and sending out messages that are contradictory to the message of Christ. Could one of the reasons be that once the Mormons became organized - or any religion really - does truth suffer?
(Please make a comment below or contact me via Twitter, Google+, or Facebook if you have any thoughts!)
My next thought-provoking comment came from a caller during The Diane Rehm Show. The show was about Iran's nuclear ambitions but the caller was commenting on Israel's nuclear program. He made the comment that the only President to call on Israel about their program was John F. Kennedy and he was assassinated soon after. Hmmm..... Coincidence? Was it just another conspiracy theory?
Well, not entirely, it seems. John F. Kennedy did send a letter to Prime Minister Ben Gurion of Israel in May of 1963 where he stated:
"It is because of our preoccupation with this problem that my Government has sought to arrange with you for periodic visits to Dimona. When we spoke together in May 1961 you said that we might make whatever use we wished of the information resulting from the first visit of American scientists to Dimona and that you would agree to further visits by neutrals as well. I had assumed from Mrs. Meir's comment that there would be no problem between us on this.
"We are concerned with the disturbing effects on world stability which would accompany the development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel. I cannot imagine that the Arabs would refrain from turning to the Soviet Union for assistance if Israel were to develop a nuclear weapons capability--with all the consequences this would hold. But the problem is much larger than its impact on the Middle East. Development of a nuclear weapons capability by Israel would almost certainly lead other larger countries, that have so far refrained from such development, to feel that they must follow suit.
You can find the entire text here.