Tuesday July 8th, 2008
Sir John M. Templeton, the “spiritual realities” philanthropist, died today in Nassau, the Bahamas. He was an important promoter of religious understanding, particularly to the illumination of the intersection of science and religion.
Jesse Helms died last Friday. Of course I don’t rejoice in his death but I do think he was a noxious political character encouraging and using race baiting as a political tool. As late as 1990 during a close campaign against a black opponent he used a blatantly racial campaign advertisement where a white job-seeker lost his job to an unqualified minority. Senator Helms won the election. It makes me think of Slobodan Milosevic. I am disappointed in the adulation he is likely to get. He should be a pariah, or at least understood as a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, last gasp of the past.
While I was at the obituary page in the New York Times I discovered an interesting photo feature of “notable” deaths so far in 2008.
In going through the photos I discovered that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi died February 4th, 2008, the passing of a man who helped define an era. I missed this. He was as controversial as Jesse Helms but he didn’t try to divide people and promote hatred. One interesting detail noted in the obituary – at least for a native Kansan - was the observation by the Maharishi that the White House should moved. According to the principles of “Vedic architecture in harmony with Natural Law” a more appropriate location was the town of Smith Center, Kan.
A few folks who were personally significant - George Carlin, Dith Pran, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Suzanne Pleshette, who I had a crush on as Emily Hartley on the Bob Newhart Show. She was so sexy under the camouflage of her character.