Deepak Chopra and Intent

Deepak Chopra and Intent

What’s Good for GM Is Good for God

posted by dchopra

An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question:
Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin recently suggested that a gas pipeline is “God’s will” and the Iraq war is “a task that is from God.” Are you concerned about these or any other candidate’s religious views?
Fifty years ago the president of General Motors declared that what’s good for GM is good for America. That became the guiding light, if not the Holy Scripture, of modern Republicans, so it’s not surprising that Sarah Palin has carried it to Biblical lengths. Leaving aside how her remarks play to the religious far right, who think that McDonald’s must be God’s will if it makes enough money, the larger question isn’t religious. The sudden excitement generated by Gov. Palin brought John McCain’s biggest day of contributions, but it also generated a surge of money for Barack Obama. Religion-as-politics has infused the American system, for better or worse, as a familiar way to polarize people.
The split between religious and secular voters hasn’t changed since Christian fundamentalists gained power beyond their numbers in the Eighties. The simple fact is that secular voters greatly outnumber religious ones — by secular, I don’t mean people who aren’t believers but people who don’t base their vote on a candidate’s faith. The religious right is a splinter group, and they have been allowed to leverage themselves into power by the apathy of the majority. If Obama can’t reverse this apathy, it won’t be caused by a dire plot by the right-wing smear machine but lazy inattention from all the rest of us.
At present, John McCain enjoys a 54% lead over Obama among churchgoers — it would be hard to miss the irony that McCain’s devotion to church is notably lax — which equals George Bush’s lead in the past two elections. If nothing else changes, a heavy turnout of the religious right will sweep him into the Presidency. But a lot has changed, of course, and Obama’s call that this is a page-turning election may be prophetic. The last page-turner was either Reagan or Nixon, depending on how you chronicle the rise of the reactionary right. Does it date from Nixon’s wooing of Southern racists in 1968 or Reagan’s wooing of them along with anti-progressives in general in 1980? I doubt that the distinction is worth pursuing.
What’s most important if you want to turn the page is confidence and forward vision. Obama knows himself and the times he lives in. His supporters should take their guidance from that. In response to Sarah Palin, the Democrats have exhibited an outpouring of nervousness and panic. They are anxious that the American public might be swayed by a naked appeal to their worst instincts, ignoring Bush’s disastrous failures because a spunky Jesse Ventura in a dress proclaims that “I’m just like you.” But when Obama declares “This election is about you,” he’s saying the same thing on a higher plane. The 2008 election has turned into an open referendum, I believe, in which the choice between inertia and progress is clear cut. Religion, for once, isn’t the decisive thing. Voter turnout and wanting to make progress are.
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The Oprah Factor (by Mallika Chopra)

posted by Mallika Chopra

Should Oprah have Sarah Palin on her show?
Oprah Winfrey this year did something she has never done before. She used her celebrity status to promote Obama as a presidential candidate. Oprah’s support undoubtedly brought him incredible exposure.
Todays controversy surrounds whether or not Oprah should have Sarah Palin on her syndicated show. She’s had Obama on it, hasn’t she?
Obviously, Oprah doesn’t support McCain/Palin. But as the person with the strongest reach to women in America, is it her responsibility to her audience to give Palin the platform?
Is Obama on The O’Reilly Factor a parallel example?
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Deepak Chopra: Emotional and Physical Well-Being

posted by akornfeld

While I was waiting to leave for the airport, I started to think about how our emotional exchanges with others regulate our emotional and biological states.


Jezebel, Sheba, and Hillary?

posted by Admin

An article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: Women are not allowed to become clergy in many conservative religious groups. Is it hypocritical to think that a woman can lead a nation and not a congregation?
On matters of women in the church, it’s time to take the lead from women themselves. To date, the lore and history of organized religion, not to mention the career of priest and preacher, has belonged to men. But what do women want? Contradictory ideas can be held at the same time. In politics, most female voters tell pollsters that they are in broad sympathy with feminist goals: equal pay, opportunity at executive jobs, the right to control their own bodies. Yet so-called security moms put Bush over the top in the past two elections, and the unexpected popularity of Sarah Palin suggests that social conservatism, combined with spunk and dedication to one’s family, fits the mold of a reformer.
In religion the contradictions are even stronger. The image of women in Christianity grew from Eve: temptress, sinner, fleshly, and disobedient. Yet at the same time the natural role of wives and mothers has always been nurturing and loving. It has taken centuries to unravel the knot that ties women to prejudiced, outworn roles that few want to play today. In the Middle Ages a martyred woman was a saint, now she simply possesses low self-esteem and puts up with abuse. Seduction and temptation lose their sinful connotation once sex becomes mutual between the two sexes and a natural response that deserves no shame or guilt. We tend to regard peace as a feminine quality. Yet conservative devout women, especially in fundamentalist denominations, often turn out to be supporters of the Iraq war and violence against abortion clinics.
It’s against this tangled web of values that the question of a woman as President or a woman as clergy exists. From the outside, it may seem a natural step for Episcopalians, traditionally the most liberal of Protestants, to allow women bishops, yet this is one of the chief causes for a bitter rift in the faith. Women priests in the Catholic church, again from the outside, seems like an innocuous reform. But to the Church’s hierarchy, it spells a tear in the fabric of tradition and male authority going back to Peter, founder of the faith. Electing a woman to be President is a progressive reform that has been a long time coming. It would strengthen the country and make our democracy more honest — as it is, women are grossly under-represented in Congress. Women in the clergy is also a much overdue reform, but one can’t equate it with politics. In conservative churches, a worldview is at stake, and in that worldview white male dominance has been the rule. Therefore, to a strict conservative, one can’t break rules simply to be fair.
I am making these points because the question of women in the clergy seems like a slam dunk; one can hardly imagine why any woman would be against it. Yet we cannot imagine why young Turkish women are fervent about bringing back the veil, or why the burqa should exist in the first place. Culture and tradition are as conflicted and entangled as human nature itself.
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