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Culturebox: Hate Thy Neighbor

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Hate Thy Neighbor
The politics of Parks and Recreation.
By Juliet Lapidos
Posted Monday, April 25, 2011, at 6:45 AM ET

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope. Click image to expand.Perhaps you've come across a variant of the following saying: Liberals worry about the people they don't know; conservatives worry about the people they do know. Alternatively: Democrats like helping people in the abstract but aren't neighborly, while Republicans love their neighbors but don't give a damn about strangers. I've been turning over these pat phrases recently for reasons that have nothing to do with politics. They've been on my mind because I finally got around to NBC's Parks and Recreation, catching up with the first three seasons in an embarrassingly short amount of time. The abstract vs. personal take on liberals and conservatives, it seems to me, is the show's guiding principle, or central cliche.

Shot in a mockumentary style, the comedy follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie never states her party affiliation explicitly, and she adorns her office walls with photographs of female politicians from both sides of the aisle: Nancy Pelosi and Margaret Thatcher, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. Nonetheless, it's clear that we're meant to think of Leslie as a liberal: She's a dedicated bureaucrat who believes in public projects. In Season 1, Leslie tries to turn an abandoned construction pit into a park; in the third, she plans a harvest festival. And she's relentlessly optimistic about the democratic process. She says of her experience with community forums, "These people ... care about where they live. So what I hear when I'm being yelled at is people caring loudly at me."

To continue reading, click here.

Juliet Lapidos is a Slate associate editor.

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Time Management God's Way -- April 25, 2011

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Time Management God's Way

Craig Groeschel
Wherever you are, be all there. That one tiny idea radically transformed the way I now conduct my everyday life.
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Spiritual Life

The Top Three Misconceptions About Joy
Bonnie Gray
We all long to experience joy. Do we opt for safe joy when Jesus offers full joy?
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The Power of the Cross
Greg Laurie
The cross is en vogue today as a fashion accessory, but I wonder if those who wear it have any idea what the cross really represents.
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Goals & Destinations: Don't Forget to Live Along the Way
Ryan Downing
Most days, our actions and goal-mindedness would suggest we admire the two travelers who - determined to reach their destinations - passed by the injured man on the road before he was helped by the Good Samaritan.
Read the full article here


Stop Controlling Me!
Joe Beam
Often the person who is the most controlling is the one who feels the most controlled.
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Psst... I'm Praying For You
Dick Staub
I have a confession to make: I love to pray... for strangers.
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"A Massive Shift Coming in What it Means to be a Christian"?
Albert Mohler
TIME Magazine considers Rob Bell.
Read the full article here

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The Most Liberal Senator

Dear Fellow Conservative:

I'm writing today to tell you about a Senator who must be defeated next year.

You may have heard of Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). He recently made national headlines when he compared those of us who oppose unchecked union power to Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin.

Now, Sherrod Brown is attacking those of us who oppose raising the debt limit without passage of the Balanced Budget Amendment. He said we "want to govern by ideology."

Our nation's debt is over $14 trillion and skyrocketing, but Sherrod Brown believes it's extreme to demand Congress balance its budget. What he fails to recognize is that stopping the debt is not a matter of ideology, it's a matter of national survival.

It's time to show Sherrod Brown the door.

Help SCF Defeat Sherrod Brown
Sherrod Brown was recently ranked by National Journal as the "most liberal" member of the entire U.S. Senate. He voted:
  • FOR the $700 billion Wall Street bailout;
  • FOR the $787 billion stimulus bill;
  • FOR President Obama's government takeover of healthcare;
  • FOR the Cash for Clunkers program;
  • FOR the auto bailout;
  • FOR union intimidation using "card check" elections;
  • AGAINST permanent repeal of the death tax; and
  • AGAINST the earmark moratorium.
  • AGAINST defunding Planned Parenthood
There is no bigger supporter in the U.S. Senate of big-government spending, bailouts, and debt than Sherrod Brown.

Thankfully he's up for re-election next year and freedom-loving Americans across the nation have a chance to end his assault on our liberties.

I'm confident that a courageous, constitutional conservative can defeat Sherrod Brown, and I'm confident we will have one to support in this race. But we need to start working now if we're going to defeat him.

Ohio is a swing state so winning won't be easy or cheap. Voters in the Buckeye State need to know what Sherrod Brown has been doing in Washington. They need to know that he routinely votes for more government at the expense of their jobs and their freedoms.

That's why I'm writing to you today. We need to raise $500,000 to implement a program designed to educate Ohio voters about Sherrod Brown's reckless spending. Independent voters especially need to know how he's fighting against them at every turn.

Defeating Sherrod Brown must be a top priority for conservatives. Replacing him with a proven conservative won't just be a win for Ohio. It will be a win for all Americans. Every time he votes against liberty in the Senate, it affects us all.

Please make a contribution to the Senate Conservatives Fund today so we can defeat Sherrod Brown.

Help SCF Defeat Sherrod Brown
Thank you for being part of the fight for our nation's future. If we continue to work together to influence the most important Senate races in the country, we can take our country back.


Jim DeMint
United States Senator
Chairman, Senate Conservatives Fund

P.S. Please help the Senate Conservatives Fund defeat the "most liberal" Senator in 2012. Ohio is a swing state and winning this race won't be easy or cheap. Your early support for our campaign to defeat Sherrod Brown will make the difference.
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Living the abundant life Christ intends

April 25, 2011

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

1 John 5:12

Do you remember that story back in Genesis 3 when the devil, disguised as a snake, slithered into the Garden of Eden to tempt Adam and Eve? And as he spoke with Eve, he questioned both God and Eve when he said, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1).

Now, God didn’t tell Adam and Eve not to eat from any tree in the garden. He specifically told them not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But the devil came alone and distorted what God had said. He tried to convince Eve that God was trying to hold out on her—that he was depriving her and didn’t want her to enjoy the garden.

And you know what? He uses that same lie today when he tells you that God doesn’t want you to enjoy life! He does this because he wants you to think negatively about God. The devil wants you to believe that God is some kind of a cosmic killjoy and he wants to drape your life in darkness. He wants you to believe that God is holding out on you.

But the Christian life is an abundant life! Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament we are promised life with a capital “L”. Jesus himself said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

So remember, the life Christ offers you is an abundant life. So don’t let Satan steal the joy God intends for you!



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It's a copy of the ESV Share the Good News New Testament, and I'd like to send it to you as my way of saying thanks for your online donation to PowerPoint Ministries.

This version of the New Testament includes reading plans and topical guides for locating key verses and passages, and it's perfect for people who are new to the Bible or those who like to find a quick Bible reference.

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