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Does work inspire or drain you?



Published: Sat, September 9, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Are you able to replenish your spirit during work, or are you fighting to keep your sanity?

Beliefnet.com publishes quizzes on an array of issues, including this one.

Coming off a relaxing Labor Day weekend, it seems appropriate -- now that most of us are back at work -- to raise the question.

Go ahead and take the quiz on www.beliefnet.com and then tell me: Does your work inspire you or drain the life out of you?

Perhaps there are ways you've found to nurture your spirit during the day that could be useful to others.

Share your thoughts by e-mailing me at: tschaeferwichitaeagle.com.

All of us need some moral -- and spiritual -- support as we earn our daily bread. Let's hear how you're faring.

About The Beatles

It was the winter of 1964 when I heard a new musical group that altered my taste in music.

The Beatles. The Fab Four.

With each new song they wrote and recorded, John, Paul, George and Ringo revolutionized a musical genre and a generation that listened to them.

How popular did The Beatles become? "More popular than Jesus," John asserted at one point.

In fact, The Beatles had a message of faith to proclaim, according to Steve Turner in his new book "The Gospel According to the Beatles" (Westminster John Knox Press, $19.95).

He defines a gospel as anything that offers answers to questions that people struggle with.

Turner traces the religious roots of the foursome and how they changed over the years.

All four had religious ties early in their lives: John and Ringo in the Church of England and Paul and George in the Roman Catholic Church.

Their music, Turner claims, is filled with spiritual references and evolved, first as they met the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and dallied in Eastern religion, then after they broke up.

At one point, Turner says, John claimed he didn't believe in God, but then, in 1977, supposedly told friends he had a born-again experience. That lasted about two months.

Shortly before his death in 1980, Turner says, John reportedly said he was interested in studying the New Testament parables.

As with John, religious beliefs -- or religiouslike beliefs -- were true for the other three to a greater or lesser degree.

Before his death, George was deep into Hare Krishna. Paul's commitment to animal rights and a vegetarian lifestyle, along with his concern about the environment, have become his articles of faith. Ringo is said to be attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, with its creed of relying on "a higher power."

Turner's book is an interesting account of one of the world's most popular rock bands and the overt, and at times subtle, ways religion influenced their lives and their music.

That shouldn't surprise us. Religion, after all, is always near the surface even though it may not be visible.

Increase in anti-Semitism?

The incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe, particularly in France, are well-documented, but America seems to be ripe for its resurgence, too.

What's also disturbing is that it's springing up on our college campuses.

In an editorial last month in the Washington Times, Nat Hentoff notes how rallies and protests in this country against the war in Lebanon, and the ongoing struggle in the West Bank, have morphed into expressions of anti-Semitism rather than opposition to Israeli actions.

"For example, waving in the California sun on a campus was the regret: 'Hitler didn't finish the job!' These are not entirely rare instances," Hentoff writes of student protests fueled by anti-Semitic acts.

He quotes an April report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that states incidents of anti-Semitism are occurring on many college campuses where "anti-Israel or anti-Zionist propaganda has been disseminated that includes age-old anti-Jewish stereotypes ... that perpetuate the medieval ... blood libel of Jews slaughtering children for ritual purpose ... as well as Jews as overly powerful, or conspiratorial."

Regardless of one's politics, people of faith should stand up -- and speak out -- against the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

History is replete with far too many examples of people who were silent in the face of such monstrous persecution.

McClatchy Newspapers




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