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Showing posts from June, 2014

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Review: Eisenhower by Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is the author of several concise books on significant military figures in history - his other books include Churchill and Napoleon. His latest, Eisenhower, stands along those two as both concise and rife with information. Johnson follows a linear telling of the 34th president's life - from his birth in Texas to his upbringing in Abilene, Kansas.

As far as biographies of Dwight Eisenhower goes, Eisenhower is not the most creative. Moments of it seem a bit more like the cliff notes version of a more lengthy biography - like Ike's Bluff - with Johnson providing readers the measured version for using in cramming for a history exam. Dwight Eisenhower is a demonstrably important figure in American and world history and Johnson presents that in a very measured way for beginners. The best chapters are those describing his postwar period, including the popularity of "Ike" as a world figure and his evolution from military leader to president.

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5 Steps To Take Before Trying Marital Counseling Even the best and strongest of marriages have their difficulties. Over the course of time, it is not uncommon for couples to feel distant from one another, to bicker, experience hardships, and go through a period of misunderstanding and miscommunication. To strengthen the marital bond, one of the most marriage-enhancing experiences that a couple can undertake is faith-based marital counseling. This type of counseling engages, inspires, transforms, encourages, and equips couples with the tools that they need to succeed in their marriage and to stay true to their faith and their vows. However, before taking the courageous step to see a counselor, there are five recommended steps that couples should take.

Understanding One's Role in the Conflict

When a conflict arises between a couple, each partner is responsible for a taking a certain approach. Due to personalities, reactions to conflict situations are different. For exam…

A Look At Matthew 25:35 And Giving Thanks

This post is something special for me. First, I am writing about a deeply personal experience with a person, Jennifer Reimer, who was very dear and significant to me. Second, it is the first time ever that I have written any sort of scholastically ecclesiastical piece. I'm a bit at a loss for how to do it - I have read Kevin Burgess' posts along with the content of Image Journal, a publication of Seattle Pacific University which I own.

The most common theme amongst Christian writers, who are all very different from one another, seems to be taking a general theme from the Gospel and applying it to personal experience or some sort of thesis. I want to bring up this quote, which my fiance wrote in a letter before she passed away in her sleep April 14 this year:

The scripture actually continues "Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." In the context of that quote, Jen was writing to some folks in Pennsylvania she …

Donate to Radical Second Things!!

I am in the midst of creating a Radical Second Things Kickstarter campaign but, for now, I strongly urge the many readers we have somehow allocated in the brief days this blog has been active to contribute whatever they can - $10, $20, $50 - to Radical Second Things via PayPal. Your contribution will mean more guest writers from respected religious and political publications, more commentary from myself, regular publication and the employment of graphic designers who can make this place appealing.

With the help of your donations, I hope to create a Radical Second Things clothing line with T-shirts as gifts to contributors. I can only get there with your help!

What Has Pope Francis Meant?

Recently, several articles have been released alluding to the health of Pope Francis. As much of a radical breath of fresh air as he may have been for some, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is 77 years old. He is an old man. His ideology, liberation theology of the sort popular in Latin America, is only new in the Vatican's halls of power. It has been around for decades and is only finally getting its deserved time in the spotlight.

People do not live for centuries. I know as well as anyone that death is waiting for all of us, patiently, and it will come whether we are ready or not. Francis has a good quarter century on this planet at most before he heads off to wherever he does.

Whether the rumors of illness are true or not, and the Vatican denies them, Pope Francis took the ailing body of Catholicism from life support to be able to run and play tennis within a very short time. One friend of mine, a self described former Christian, said that he really did not think that the Catholic Church …

It Is Time To Put Martin Luther King Jr. On The 20 Dollar Bill

In Slate magazine, Jillian Keenan wrote pretty eloquently why Andrew Jackson should not be on the 20 dollar bill: 

My public high school wasn’t the best, but we did have an amazing history teacher. Mr. L, as we called him, brought our country’s story to life. So when he taught us about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears, Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to force at least 46,000 Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee-Creeks, Chickasaws, and Seminoles off their ancestral lands, my classmates and I were stricken. It was unfathomable that thousands of Native American men, women, and children were forced to march West, sometimes freezing to death or starving because U.S. soldiers wouldn’t let them bring extra food or blankets. It was hard to hear that the Choctaw Nation lost up to a third of its population on the death march. It was disorienting to learn that what amounted to ethnic cleansing had come at the insistence of an American president. But then it was lunchtime, and we pul…

Second Things Is A Success!!

Today was our first day of publication and, within less than five hours, we have had almost 100 pageviews. Awesome! I want to thank Colin Jenkins and Kevin Burgess from the Hampton Institute, of course, along with Luis Panclasta and Josh Deeds for sticking with Gonzo Times and now this. Also, everyone who supported me through the loss of my fiance, Jennifer Lauren Reimer, you are also much appreciated. Jennifer made some radical design changes to Gonzo Times, the sister site to Second Things, and I'm hoping to bring some of that design over here soon.

Thank you all!

The Hunt for Red November: Third-Party, Working-Class Politics Get a Boost with Socialist Victory

I came across Kevin Burgess' work through my favorite think tank, the Hampton Institute. One of the most stressful yet also learning experience periods of my life led in part to me not contributing to them since February but I contributed some of what I think is my strongest writing work with them. Check it out:

Something incredible happened in the Seattle area during the off-year 2013 election cycle. Most of the races, while significant enough for city residents, were relegated to localized importance. However, there was one exception.

Kshama Sawant, a candidate for City Council as a Socialist (as in the Socialist Alternative Party, not a descriptive term), was victorious. Sawant not only won a seat on the City Council, but also won prestige - she is well beyond another lower level academic (she teaches economics at Seattle Central Community College) - she is now a force to be reckoned with in Seattle-area politics and a trailblazer for a political brand that has larg…

Ugly Church

Kevin Burgess has been kind enough to let me repost one of his articles - "Ugly Church." This one wasn't published at Hampton but originally at Kevin's blog marginally free. Here goes:

To be a Christian does not mean to be religious in a particular way, to make something of oneself (a sinner, a penitent, or a saint) on the basis of some method or other, but to be a man--not a type of man, but the man that Christ creates in us. It is not the religious act that makes the Christian, but participation in the sufferings of God in the secular life. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer For the last year or so I have been discussing the subject of starting a church with a few friends. In my area there simply aren't any expressions of 'church' that we can join in on with any real passion.

Partly this is due to the area in which we live. It is a bastion of conservative churches, which on many a Sunday promote some weird Americanism that wraps Jesus in a flag. On the other…

Radical Second Things Inaugural Post: Out of Empire and into the Margins: Exploring the Gospel of Mark

Welcome to Radical Second Things! I originally meant to call this website Second Things but found that many people had taken that as a domain both on Blogger and WordPress as well. I want to emphatically distinguish Second Things as not just a left wing but a radical Christian publication. Since the title is a take on the conservative First Things, I thought putting "Radical" in the title was necessary.

I am very excited to repost this article by Kevin Burgess. It was first published with the Hampton Institute June 11, 2004. Thanks for letting me repost it, Kevin.

The following is a three-part analysis exploring the book 'Say to This Mountain' by Ched Myers, a study in Mark's gospel.

Part 1: Inbreaking on the Margins (Mark 1:1-20)

As part of the formation of a community, it helps to have an anchor, so to speak, in the form of something tangible to get folks on the same page.

The way my own little community is doing this is to come together regularly for liturgy a…

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About Radical Second Things

Michael Orion is a blogger, writer, artist and photographer based in the Bay Area. Besides his maintenance and promotion of Radical Second Things, he contributes to the San Francisco newspaper SF Western Edition, where he writes about local non-profit organizations.

Mark Cappetta is a practicing Catholic and active LGBT activist. He has been instrumental in keeping Radical Second Things and updates the Facebook account almost daily.

Eva Gnostiquette is an artist, programmer, "future scientist," bi-trans girl and graphic designer. She voluntarily helped to create the first print issue Radical Second Things and designed our beautiful banners. Thanks so much, Eva!

Jordan Denato is a professional artist based out of Iowa. He took the initiative to illustrate both Jennifer Reimer's story and Michael Orion's Oscar Romero work. He has his own art studio, Tar and Feather Studios, and is a critical part of Radical Second Things.

Radical Second Things is a liberation theology themed blog that has clear cut goals - we see the structural decline of the United States and much of the west and hope to present alternatives that will offer "a preferential option for the poor" as more become vulnerable.

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