Friday, October 7, 2011

End of the Blog, A New Page

Since September of 2009, I have been blogging at this site on issues at the intersection of faith and law. It has been an interesting experiment. I have had many more readers and followers than I would have ever imagined. And I appreciate the time that each reader has devoted to stop by this site to read my posts and those of the guest bloggers. Thank you.

When I began this blog, I shared with readers my struggle to find an appropriate name. Ultimately, I chose “Progressive Christianity and the Law,” but I expressed that it was not a perfect fit. As time has gone on, I have felt less and less comfortable with the “progressive” moniker. I do think that term probably describes me fairly well in many respects, but not all. Many of my progressive friends think I’m pretty conservative in some respects.

But that is beside the point. The term “progressive” in this blog’s title is modifying Christianity, not me. And I have never believed my religion to be progressive, conservative or moderate, at least not in the political sense of those terms. Those politicized terms just don’t fit well with a faith based on the resurrection of the tortured Prince of Peace who ministered to outcasts, demonstrated respect for secular authorities but had no interest in acquiring their power, and instead taught about the Kingdom of God whose values were quite at odds with earthly priorities.

As I’ve contemplated this dynamic over time, I eventually felt that I needed to put this blog to bed and start anew. To that end, this is my last post on “Progressive Christianity and the Law.”

I will continue to blog on similar faith and law topics at a newly founded blog with a slightly simpler title: “Christianity and the Law Blog.” I invite you to join me at that new blog, which can be found at:

In the meantime, I thank all the readers, commenters, and guest bloggers of this site for your attention, your engagement and your contributions. Without you, this experiment in blogging would have been pointless. Without you, it would simply have been a personal journal. I encourage you to continue your engagement at the new blog.

Peace and blessings!

Ezekiel 36:11

And I will multiply upon you man and beast, and they shall increase and bring fruit. And I will settle you according to your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tibetan Refugee (2004)

I recently came across a short, low-budget documentary about Tibetans who have fled their homeland because of oppression by the Communist government of the People’s Republic of China. I must admit I have never followed the saga of Tibet that closely, so I gave this film a try because I wanted to learn more.

This particular film appears to have been made by novice filmmakers on a shoestring. As a result, I’m not sure I learned quite as much as I might have learned from a more expertly made film. Nonetheless, I was quite moved and would definitely recommend Tibetan Refugee to others.

The bulk of the film is simply spent interviewing Tibetans in exile in India. The vibe is less that of a documentary film, but more like a collection of Tibetans’ testimony to prove up the oppression that the People’s Republic of China claims is not happening. Common people--not celebrities--tell about their experiences in Tibet under Communist Chinese rule.

From children to young adults to older exiles, their stories are heartbreaking. Over and over again they tell of religious oppression and ethnic marginalization. Young kids tell of making the journey to India on their own because their parents wanted them to have a better life. Monks tell of torture and abuse at the hands of Communist authorities.

Over and over, inteviewees describe their dreams that motivated them to leave Tibet—they sought education and they sought the freedom to practice their religion. Those two dreams seem so simple, so basic to us in the United States. Our nation was founded on the dream of religious freedom. And despite the many serious problems we have in our educational system, there are a lot more educational options and opportunities in this country than people have in most places around the world.

I felt humbled and quite moved as I listened to the interviewees. I am not Buddhist, but I certainly sympathized with their cause. I cannot imagine being tortured for wanting to practice one’s religion openly. After watching the film, I felt gratitude that I could go to church, read my bible, display crosses in my home and talk opening about my faith. Those are privileges that not everyone around the world enjoys.

Psalm 119:134
Redeem me from the people who oppress me so I can keep your precepts.