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November/December 2001


Cinema Circus

Dear Folks,

It's been such a long long summer down here in the sub-tropics of Florida.  Pretty soon, though, I'm sure, the colder times will arrive on the wings of snow birds coming south for the winter.  Meanwhile, after trying, as we all have been probably doing, to comprehend the meaning of our national emergency, it's a real pleasure to settle down and finalize this last issue of THE SEED CATALOG for 2001, the 2002 MOVIE GO ROUND CALENDAR having just been "put to bed" a couple of days ago.  I really want you to check it out, if you're at all interested in ideas and suggestions about great films you might want to pick out at a video store.  Without chagrin, I will say that I think I do have an uncanny sense of intuitive correctness when it comes to recommending good movies.  My choices may tend to lean overly toward stark studies of life situations (for instance, What's Eating Gilbert Grape), but, rightly or wrongly, I generally trust my ability to emphasize films that are interesting and unique, yet not overly well-known.  Happy Season!

--Bill Joyner

 

The 2002 Seed Catalog Calendar Movie Go Round

Yes, it's about to pop forth, and it couldn't be more welcome - the 2002 Seed Catalog Calendar!  It's about movies, brief reveries upon all-time favorite scenarios that are precious to me.  I'd like to believe that movies could change the world.  They have surely been a huge part of my moral education.  I have learned what bravery is, and cowardice,; grief and joy.  I have seen my own experience more clearly through exceptional scenes and characters in movies.

And so, after a year's worth of labor, I'm just as pleased as a new Papa, to announce the "Cinema Circus Movie Go Round" 2002 Seed Catalog Calendar! I invite you to order it if you're interested, and perhaps another to share with a friend.  One of my objectives in distributing the calendar is to expand the readership of The Seed Catalog.  Please feel free, therefore, to send me the address of anyone you think might like to receive this little every-other-month seedbed of ideas.

Thanks to you who already have ordered the calendar, and please pardon this additional appeal if that is the case.  thanks to everyone for your interest!

  Bill Joyner

 


Phone (323) 466-2157 / Fax (323) 466-2150 / email ihmla@pacbell.net 
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Be strong and grateful for all.

-- Ronald E. Stefanik


A family can act as gangsters, offering each other mutual protection against each other's violence.  It is a reciprocal terrorism, with the offer of protection-security against the violence that each threatens the other with, and is threatened by, if anyone steps out of line.

-- R.D. Lain in The Politics of Experience


A Prayer

 

O God, who hast bound us together in this bundle of life; give us grace to understand how our lives depend upon the courage, the industry, the honesty, and the integrity of our fellow men, that we may be mindful of their needs, grateful for their fidelity, and faithful in our responsibilities to them; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

--Reinhold Niebuhr


Stealing Jesus
How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity
by Bruce Bawer
Three Rivers Press
New York
http://www.randomhouse.com
 

"So long, Bawer says, as the national media go on regarding fundamentalists as harmless or marginal - so long, indeed, as they are allowed to get away with the preposterous assertion that they stand for Christian fundamentals - their power and danger can only grow.  We badly need a wake-up call, and [Bawer] intends to deliver it... Stealing Jesus may prove of value simply for its clear exposition of what today's American 'fundamentalists' believe and want to do.  Bawer's readers will no longer be able to greet that term with a condescending smile."

--Walter Kendrick, New York Times Book Reivew


"Listen to the calls of those passengers on the planes," British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an eloquent and persuasive speech last week. "Think of the children on them, told they were going to die. Think of the cruelty beyond our comprehension, as amongst the screams and the anguish of the innocent, those hijackers drove at full throttle planes laden with fuel into buildings where tens of thousands of people work. They have no moral inhibition on the slaughter of the innocent."


On Evildoers

Osama bin Laden and the suicidal fanatics he inspires have desecrated the honor all Muslims.  Reasonable Muslim individual and groups, in defense of Islam and for the well-being of all, should, therefore, seize any opportunity to reveal the whereabouts of people in their midst who may be involved in terrorist activities.

We all have similar responsibility, whoever we are, whatever our faith.  Consider that the "Unabomber" might still be committing his random acts of violence had his own brother not turned him in.

Now someone or some group equally elusive is trying to poison all of us with anthrax.  That individual or group must, in the name of all that is holy and human, be identified and apprehended, even if they are of our own blood, even if they claim to share our own faith.

--Bill Joyner
Sarasota

 

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Celebrating Secularity

As for "secular humanism," it still rings true to me; however anxiously conservatives have tried to turn the whole idea into a dirty word.  Harvey Cox called it THE SECULAR CITY in his early sixties book of that title.  He saw the rise of urban, secular civilization as a biblically-rooted realization of God's will, therefore something to celebrate and cherish.  Holier-than-Thou American minister/mullahs, like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, however, as well as their radical Islamist compatriots, equate secularity with Godlessness.  With them, there is no room and no reason for dissent, because they KNOW they're right!

A couple of times since September 11th, I have heard almost complimentary assessments of the suicide bombers, to the effect that "at least they were strong enough in their faith to KNOW they would be in paradise with God immediately upon death."  But, I say, that's just the problem! They KNEW they were within God's will when they rammed planes full of innocent men, women and children into those heavily occupied buildings.  They KNEW they were right! They knew it by heart, because their minister/mullahs had screamed this gospel of unmitigated hate at them from earliest youth - in the name of God!

Our own country is proof that secular humanism and democracy are systems that actually work.  We have complete freedom of religion and the wildest diversity of faiths imaginable, yet no spiritual entity can enforce upon the rest of us its truth and its idea of the sovereign will of God, because we have the separation of church and state.  Now.  Does this make the USA a godless society? Hardly, when about 90 percent of our population professes to believe in God - and look how many churches and other places of worship there are everywhere!  And yet, this arrangement greatly displeases those who are committed to the belief that only ONE WAY is THE RIGHT WAY, their way!  When you boil it down to its essence, they're saying to the rest of us, "It's my way or the highway! We'll try to missionize you, we'll try to help you see the light, but if you don't get it, then straight to hell with you, because that's exactly where you belong!"  This kind of spiritual fascism is the basis of religious extremism.

I am not speaking from inexperience.  I was converted to a cult-like Christian group in my late teens.  We were proud to believe whatever our evangelical leaders said that the Bible said.  Not only would we believe that the whale swallowed Jonah, we joked, but, if it was in there, we would believe that Jonah swallowed the whale.  And it didn't bother me that Jesus said, "leave your family... everything.... and come follow me... I am not come to bring peace but a sword..." etc.  I WANTED to be a part of God's righteous army!  After all, what could possibly be wrong with knowing for sure that you KNOW the truth!  "Christ is the Answer!" No questions required.

Today, I read about young people of this same persuasion, "Prayer Warriors for Christ," an after-hours high school Christian club near Chicago, whose big complaint is that they can't have public prayer in school - and I wonder why it never dawned on them that their own Lord said, "Go pray in your closet secretly, and God will reward you secretly." But then, youth is a time when we're gung-ho to be "on the battlefield for the Lord." It's a time when our self-righteous hackles are up.  We're in rebellion against our parents, against everything we're sure is wrong with the world, ripe for any radical cause that comes along with a convincing, authoritative argument for choosing ONE WAY that encompasses and is superior to all other ways. That's why Hitler Youth, Islamist hate schools and other such entities, including authoritarian, ONE WAY religious groups in our own culture, have such a timeless, continuing appeal.

It's not true that anyone else's belief, however weird, is strictly their own business - not when the business of their belief may be to exterminate all the rest of us.  We should pay attention, not only to what other people say they believe, but to what we ourselves claim to believe, and we should oppose any voice or movement that advocates taking over the reigns of government in the name of some kind of holy coalition.  Long live the "secular city!" It's our only salvation from the tyranny of "one way" religious extremism.

-- Bill Joyner

 

 

Again and Again
We must be born again and again
or the life of God's love remains unlived.
This Being, whose name is Love,
is buried alive in each of us,
struggli ng to rise from the dead debris of our own doubt.

-- BJ

 THE 2002 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR!

Short reviews and stories about films on video that you might like to check out.  The format will be much the same as the 2001 Calendar - The Soul Seed Circus.

THE 2002 SEED CATALOG CALENDAR

"The Soul Seed Movie-Go-Round"

William T. Joyner, Editor

Printed and spiral bound 11" x 14" calendar available for advance orders for $7.50 per copy including mailing cost -  for more information contact Bill Joyner 
via U.S. Mail:  P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230 
or email Bill at
joynerbill28@gmail.com  

The 2001 Seed Catalog Calendar - "The Soul Seed Circus" is still available for $4.50 
(includes postage)


The Seed Catalog
William T. Joyner, Editor
THE SEED CATALOG is available by mail for an annual suggested donation of $5.00
-- or any expression of interest. I try to do at least 6 issues a year. Thanks for tuning in!
--Bill Joyner / P.O. Box 3411 / Sarasota, FL 34230

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