West Africa Times | Serving The Community Since 2001 | Page 28
Indeed, communal worship in church is simply the amplification of the individual’s prayer. Curiously, I do not recall the Gospels reporting Jesus praying in the temple, though he must have done so. Matthew reports that he prayed at Gethsemane to petition God to spare him death on the cross, but he did so privately after instructing his disciples to remain behind while he went off to pray. Religion, of course, necessarily takes a communal as well as an individual form, but as its complement, not substitute. My message to those urging the precipitate r e o p e n i n g o f t h e i r churches for public worship is that they can still be religious, in James’ and Emerson’s profounder sense, by their sequestering at home or, better still, by betaking t h e m s e l ve s t o t h e woods where, Emerson promises, “we return to reason and faith.” Moreover, as he again advises, they should be incessant in prayer which Emerson understood as “the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good.” T h i s c o n s t i t u t e s g e n u i n e r e l i g i o n i n c o n t r a s t t o i t s counterfeits. By Richard A. S. Hall
and declares, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Significantly, the centurion on horseback is alone when he makes his confession of faith. There is none other than this solitary individual communing with God. This picture by Cranach, who befriended and followed Luther, is emblematic of the spirit of the Reformation. It bears remembering that the world’s great r e l i g i o n s , Ju d a i s m , Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam were founded by individuals, viz., A b r a h a m , J e s u s , Buddha and Mohammed, respectively, and are but the lengthened shadows o f t h e s e r e l i g i o u s geniuses. Significantly, t h e p at r i a r c h s a n d prophets of JudeoC h r i s t i a n i t y w e r e inspired while sojourning in the pathless solitude of wilderness. T h u s , M o s e s encountered God in a burning bush while herding sheep alone in the wild. Elijah heard the still small voice atop Mt. Horeb. Jesus was tempted by Satan during his sojourn in the wilderness of 40 days and 40 nights, thereafter, commencing his public ministry. And then there were the medieval anchorites, religious hermits, isolated
within their cells. That s o l i t u d e m a ke s fo r spiritual replenishment was well-understood by Emerson and Thoreau, both its creatures and advocates. T horeau secluded himself in a hut on Walden Pond. And according to Emerson, “we require such a solitude as shall hold us to its revelations when we are in the street and in palaces.” As for the divine, James conceived of it broadly as whatever is “most primal and enveloping and deeply true, and that might be the universe or God; in brief, “Religion, whatever it is, is a man’s total reaction upon life.” I n t e r e s t i n g l y, like James, Emerson had a similarly broad conception of religion. For him, “Religion or worship is the attitude of those who see that against all appearances the nature of things works for truth and right forever.” N ow, o f c o u r s e , religion takes a communal as well as an individual form. But the communal is neither the essence of nor an adequate substitute for authentic religion, located in the heart of the individual, but only its complement. The practice of religion involves much more than church attendance or the performance of rites, ceremonies, and rituals. The conduit to God is prayer, whether public or private.
fought national election campaign where one of the key debating points will be grand corruption, an issue which had propelled Rawlings to leadership 40 years earlier. A r g u m e n t s ove r Rawlings’ role will not quieten in the weeks ahead. Many of those workers and farmers and their families whose hopes of a voice in politics and economic improvement were vested in the Rawlings era have stayed dutiful supporters d e s p i t e c o n t i n u i n g hardship. It is the bankers, c u s t o m e r s a n d commission agents who remain some of Rawlings’ harshest critics although they finally benefited most from the IMF adjustment theology and political stabilization. And for those still seeking the radical social change that the 1979 revolution had promised, “aluta continua”. Rawlings’ surviving family includes his wife Nana Konadu Rawlings, t h r e e d a u g h t e r s , Zanetor, Yaa Asantewaa and Amina, and son, Kimathi. His mother, Victoria Abouti, died just two months ago at the age of 101.
that the president has frequently capitalized on headline-generating events to fill his coffers. B u t G e o r g i a R e p u b l i c a n s a r e concerned that small donors may be deceived by Trump’s fundraising appeals. Givers who don’t read the fine print closely enough may think their dollars are going directly to Loeffler and Perdue when in fact it’s going to Trump. “Money is speech, and if it can get to the right place it should be used. But if it’s going to [Trump's] leadership PAC and not being spent on the behalf of David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler I think that’s problematic,” said Martha Zoller, the chair of Georgia United Victory, a conservative s u p e r PAC t h a t i s planning to spend $6 million during the runoff. A Trump campaign spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment. Trump's aggressive post-election fundraising blitz that has raised more than $200 million, according to campaign finance records. That means Trump is set to leave office with a massive fundraising database and a huge political bank account. Senior Republicans say the question is whether they can get Trump to use his financial might to help candidates in the 2022 midterm elections — or whether the soon-to-be-former president will just use it for himself. “ T h e m o r e t h a t Trump can do to help the Republican Party with his tremendously s u c c e s s f u l o n l i n e fundraising list is better for the party," said Eric Wilson, a veteran GOP digital strategist. “The fact that there are so many donors at the grassroots level still willing to give President Trump $5, $10, $25 donations just shows that power. There’s a huge potential to really just transform the party.”
politics, and they say they have adopted an across-the-board policy of not allowing others to use it. The advisers reason that using the list for candidates other than the president could dilute the list's power. And they also contend that contributors have finite resources and that they needed the funds for Trump’s reelection campaign. Tr ump aides say they’ve found other ways to help with fundraising, including having the president sign emails for candidates that those campaigns sent to their individual lists of supporters. The Trump team has also brought in top surrogates such as chief White House economist Larry Kudlow, who recently hosted an online fundraiser for Perdue and Loeffler. The White House is expected to play a central role as the runoffs enter the final stretch. Vice President Mike Pence has made multiple visits to the state and other administration figures a r e l i ke ly t o m a ke appearances. Two senior officials on Trump’s reelection effort, Justin Clark and Nick Trainer, recently traveled to the state to meet with the Loeffler and Perdue campaigns. Republicans close to the president say they've taken other steps to be helpful, including inviting the NRSC and Georgia Senate candidates to form a joint fundraising agreement with the RNC and the recount account for Trump's campaign. Senate GOP officials say they turned the offer down because some of the funds wouldn't be going to the Georgia races. Trump advisers say it shouldn’t be surprising they’re using the runoffs to raise money, given
Trump Antagonizes Republicans With Georgia Fundraising Ploy
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Life of Jerry Rawlings
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Donald Trump's Original Pick For Vp Is Causing A Stir
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his daughter "hot," "voluptuous," and "a piece of a**," among other things, and said Ivanka has "the best body." He also once listed "sex" as one of the top things he and his daughter have in common, per the same Indy 100 list. In another comment that brought Trump under scrutiny, the 45th president once said, "I've said that if Ivanka weren't my daughter, perhaps I'd be dating her." However, Trump has also made a number of comments about Ivanka's intelligence and work ethic as well.
Authentic Religion Does Not Call For Churches Reopening In A Pandemic
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So, what did Ivanka actually do in the Trump admini-stration? W h i l e I v a n k a Trump didn't go on to be President Donald Trump's vice president — a position taken on by Mike Pence instead — she did have an active role in the administration. She was appointed senior advisor to her father, and has worked on issues like infrastructure. "In her role, she focuses on the education and economic empowerment of women and their families as well as job creation and economic growth through workforce development, s k i l l s t r a i n i n g a n d
e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p, " Ivanka's description says on the White House website.
Despite this, some say that Ivanka hasn't accomplished much in her time at the White House, calling her a "grifter," along with her husband Jared Kushner.
The two have come under scrutiny for their lavish expenses (including a $30 million plot of land in Florida) and fo r a l l e ge d ly p r i c e gouging their father's hotel in Washington, D . C w h e n t h e y charged the Inaugural Committee $175,000 for renting a ballroom.
Now, there is rumor that Ivanka could be setting herself up for her own political career separate from her father's presidency (although whether the two can be completely separated is questionable). According to CNN, Ivanka may be considering a run for Senate in her new state of Florida.
If true, perhaps she could one day viably climb her way to the ticket as a vice president p i c k f o r a f u t u r e candidate — bringing new relevance to her father's comment about her being his running mate.