Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Plague Among Us?

- A school principle in cancels a performance of Arthur Miller's Pulitzer-prize winning play "The Crucible" because of complaints from a local church.

- The Harry Potter children's books, among others, are burned in a symbolic "cleansing" held in a fundamentalist church parking lot.

- A middle school teacher states that at least once a year she is threatened by a parent for teaching evolution.

- A navy chaplain, sworn to the service of all faiths, ends a Jewish prayer with "in Jesus name," and cannot understand what the hub-bub is all about.

- Walmart pharmacists think it is their right to decide what medicine to dispense, and to whom, despite the fact that a woman has a legitimate prescription from a licensed physician.

- A reborn Christian sect stages protests at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. Among other things, their placards state "God hates America," and "Iraq is punishment for Homosexuality"

- The largest American evangelical organization threatens to withhold accredation of 400 military chaplains because they have been asked to ensure public prayers are "inclusive" of the sensibilities of other faiths.

- A anthropology professor at a public college bemoans trying to teach a class where over 65% of his students are strict creationists.

- The head coach at a US military academy hangs a banner inside the school's locker room stating "We play for TEAM JESUS."

- A significant portion of the population of the US Midwest believes the world is four to five thousand years old, based upon biblical writings.

- School boards in several states and municipalities mandate the teaching of creationism in science class - one even goes so far as to change the official definition of science so as to lend an air of psudo-legitimacy to their actions.

With all due respect to those who believe that their personal beliefs are just that - personal - and who don't try to force them upon the rest of us, is it any wonder that the Rev. George V. Coyone, Director of the Vatican Observatory, calls biblical literalism "a plague in our midst?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More on the Cartoons

(special thanks to LQ for the cartoon) (sorry I couldn't post it any larger).

Quote for the Day: "A Muslum's faith is above Western values" (seen on a Muslum protestor's sign). Faith above values... that just about sums up everything I have against religion. I guess that's why you'll be going to heaven and I won't. Oh well.

Monday, February 06, 2006

An Open Message to All of Islam

I hope you all take this in the spirit that it is meant. But if you don't, well, that's okay too, because I'm just about fed up with Islam anyhow. But if I haven't lost you already, imagine this scenario:

A picture is printed in a newspaper... a cartoon suggesting that a particular religion - or some perverted version of it - is responsible for at least some small degree of conflict in this world. Now, this religion is practiced by millions and millions of folks around the world, mostly peacefully. But it is also the center of a a social, intellectual, and physical culture clash so pervasive, so deeply ingrained, that certain members of this religion feel justified in killing those who don't agree with them.

I don't know what your dictionary says, but LePensure's says that when someone places and idea or concept ahead of a real, live, human being, that person is a fanatic. And I don't like fanatics - 'you catch my drift? So if this cartoon is aimed at a fanatical fringe of the religion, wouldn't the logical thing for mainstream practitioners to do be to distance themselves from the despicable actions of these fanatics? To tear up the air waves apologizing for a situation where some cartoonist would would even think he could suggest a link between the religion and violence? After all, if there were no perceived link between the two, no one would have even understood the cartoon in the first place.

Oh, you say it's not the cartoon? It's the fact that it depicts the Prophet of Peace, and the religion doesn't allow such depictions? Well, to that I say, put your newspaper down, log off the web, and turn off your TV. DON'T LOOK AT IT! It doesn't offend me, and if I end up going to hell for looking at a picture of your Prince, well, that's pretty much my tough luck, huh?? But where in the hell do you get off telling me what I can and can't do, in my own country? In fact, I wish that I were Danish, just so I could spit at you.

I searched the web for the cartoon, just so I could post it. But I gave up - it wasn't worth the effort. Such a pathetic god you have.

Friday, February 03, 2006

To all of my Islamic Friends...

It's a CARTOON, for Christ's sake. Let it go!!

It's things like this that make me think Islam is totally incompatible with democracy. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does call into question one of the principle premises behind our continued presence in Iraq.

Come to think of it, I think Christianity is basically incompatible with democracy too...

State of the Union?

'Missed it live, but I did read it on line. Of all the various points brought up, I do agree with one: we need to get off of the mark in developing an alternative to imported oil. Or should I say, to oil, period?

Also pretty interesting how the President did not mention has much-vaunted revamp of medicare - what a disaster.

For those of you who may hold opposing / incorrect views, here's a quick and easy check list:

- Socialized Medicine - yes
- Mandatory federal service - yes, although not necessarily in the military
- The right to vote - complete mandatory federal service, pass a civics test, and show picture ID before registering to vote.
- Abortion - yes, in first trimester
- separation of Church and State - yes, completely and strictly so
- Gay Marriage - yes. I am not even sure why, in the 21st century, this is even an issue for any intelligent human being. Oh, it's only an issue for Christians??
- Free higher education - yes, to those who qualify
- War in Iraq - ??? What can I say? - we seem to have the tiger by the tail
- UN - yes (to a point)
- Cooperation with Allies (as opposed to Bush always going it alone) - yes
- Nucs for Iran - Not on my watch!
- Aid for Palestine - Not until Hamas repudiates violence
- NAFTA - yes
- The economy - tough one, given my stance on NAFTA. 'Have to re-gear towards service & information, and I think that starts with education.
- Abandoned cities and the urban poor - 'don't have an answer for this one. I wish I did....
- Birth control - freely available to everyone
- Tax on the internet - are you kidding me?
- Income tax - a necessary evil. You live in a dream world if you actually believe otherwise.
- Hate crimes, etc. - A crime is a crime, and I don't believe it is a worse crime when inflicted upon a minority
Affirmative Action - it's discrimination.
- Extremist groups (such as the KKK or Neo-Nazis) - these a--holes need to be muzzled legally, but how to do so without jeopardizing everyone else's right to free speech is still an open
- Eavesdropping on US citizens - no problem with it. The so-called right to privacy is very over-rated (and yes, I do realize that a woman's right to obtain an abortion is based upon her right to privacy). But go ahead and change the law so that you do it legally.
- Walmart and the oil companies - why are we complaining about companies that use the system we give them (capitalism) to get rich? That's what I thought capitalism was all about!!!! If you have a problem with it, don't go after those whose only crime is that they play be the rules (more or less), change the system! Geeez...
- Cruel and unusual punishment - I am not sure such a thing exists.
- Cell phones in cars - you're an idiot if you do it.
- Discrimination against smokers - Can you spell C-R-Y-B-A-B-Y?
- Prostitution - should be legal & regulated.
- FCC restrictions on television programming - Parents, get a clue here. If you are relying upon a federal agency to censor programming because it offends you, then you need to become more closely acquainted with the little knob that changes the channel. I don't complain about your Christian programming, do I? And if your worry is children, then you need to be a little bit more involved with what your children watch.
- Bush's policy of spreading democracy throughout the world - demonstrates how naive Bush and his advisors are. The world cannot be divided into black and white, and democracy may not be the best fit for every culture.
- Intelligence Design - it's religion folks, admit it.
- Holocaust denyers - see my comment concerning living in a dream world.

I think that about covers it. Email me if you're still confused.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

So where do you get your news?

An interesting fact came up this week in my Poly Sci class. I cannot vouch for the technical accuracy of the following statement, but it makes a good point.

If you take the total script of any major network's primetime news broadcast, and compared it to an average-sized newspaper, the script would equal less text than is contained on the newspaper's front page.

Okay, okay, but does the same hold true for the Daily Show?

Happy Veteran's Day

Yesterday was Veteran's Day. So today I read in the paper that the San Francisco City Council wants to ban military recruiters from city limits. This galls me on a number of different levels, not least of which is the fact that these so-called "enlightened" liberals have the gall to stick their noses up at the very institution that preserves their right to do so.

Now, don't get me wrong... I am probably as liberal as they come (or at least as liberal as they come in my profession and in this part of the country), but unless the people of San Francisco actually believe the United States doesn't need a military, they're just blowing smoke and reinforcing everyone else's impression of them as left-wing whackos. Please guys, as a liberal, don't do me any favors.

And thanks to all of the veterans out there.

Big Oil

I, like probably 99% of all Americans who pay for gasoline, took great pleasure in watching the CEOs of major American petroleum companies squirm in front of Congress last week as they attempted to justify last year's record earnings. And, when confronted with the twin facts that the outragous price of gas has now started to affect the lifestyle decisions of even the sacred middle class, and that Big Oil seems to literally rollong in the dough because of it, I felt justified in feeling that pleasure.

But after thinking about it, I am wondering why, in a Capitalist society that encourages competition at all levels, we're so upset when a small group of shrewd capitalists actually benefit from the system? After all, they did nothing wrong - no one is claiming that somebody created an artificial gasoline shortage, cooked the books, or somehow skimmed off of the top. These executives played the game and they played it well, and it seems to me the losing team is expeirencing a case of sour grapes. To censure them for making profits seems somehow un-American.

Don't misunderstand me; I don't believe for a minute that these august gentlemen actually deserve the scale of compensation they recieve, I'm just trying to say what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Lets not point fingers unless we're willing to point at the system that created Big Oil in the first place. Capitalism is all about economic winners and losers; "fair" or "right" have nothing to do with it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What an Ass

News Flash - Dateline: Dover, PA. The entire 8-person school board for this small town has been voted out of office, apparently in retaliation for their efforts to force the teaching of Creationism in public school science classrooms. Pat Robertson responded by threatening the town with a natural disaster, and commented that they could "call on Charles Darwin" to help them, as they had rejected God.

This from the same individual who stated several years ago that feminism encourages women to "kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians." Can you spell "Luddite."

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

One very small step for mankind.... backwards!

Today the Kansas State School Board authorized the teaching of Intelligent Design in high school science class rooms.

Once I got over the initial shock, I became angry, then, and then... just... very... sad. How pathetic. How very pathetic to have such an apparently sizable segment of what we call the most advanced nation on earth not only believe such drivel. And worse, that they are allowed force their backwards beliefs on our children. One Kansas board member even stated that this was a victory for "academic freedom" and that "it gets rid of a lot of dogma that's being taught in the classroom today." Yeah, dogma like scientific method, the principles inductive reasoning, and academic objectivity. And our fearless leader (or should that be Fearless Leader) George W. endorses all of this? No wonder we're in trouble.

I read a great comment on the ID debate in a local newspaper, and, although I can't recall the author (sorry 'bout that...), it went something like this: "I am all for academic tolerance when it comes to teaching alternatives to evolution. And I'd be glad to include intelligent design in any science curricula, anywhere.... as soon as they start to teach Darwin's theories in the Bible." Touche.

Monday, September 05, 2005

If this is your God, then you can have him

Amid the trauma and devestation of Hurricane Katrina, it's good to see so many good Christians out there lending a hand. And those who can't break away to help out in person can at least use this opportunity to spread the good word. Take the web site Repent America (, which I just finished reviewing. The splash page - that's the first page of a site, designed to make a viewer want more - is a color photo of the Manhatten skyline (sans towers) at dawn. There is a large American flag in the background (to show what good Americans these folks are) and the words "Repent America" emblazoned across the whole page. The only other images are the Enter Here buttons, one each for Christians and "all others." So far we have a page suggesting that 9-11 was a result of God's displeasure with the United States and a set of buttons suggestive of the "White's only" signs that used to grace parts of the South - Of course I had to choose door number one (Christians).

All I have to say is that you should be ashamed of yourselves. Not as Christians, but as human beings. On the very first page I found articles advocating the banning books, questioning the veracity of so-called hate crimes, supporting the firing of people based upon their sexual preference, and suggesting that Terri Shivo was aware of what was happening to her (despite what 99% of the medical profession says). Oh, did you know that it was okay to disrupt non-Christian gatherings because it shows the compasion of Christ to tell people what God says, even if they don't want to hear it? But the piece de resistance was an article suggesting that Katrina was evidence of God's wrath at New Orlean's annual Gay Pride celebration, known pithily as Southern Decadence. Where's your compassion of Christ now, you hypocrites?

As an aside, the Christain-based Family Policy Network ( is running a similar article titled Just a Coincidence... Or the Hand of God? And this is the vaunted Chrisitan Conservativism supposedly sweeping America? You people make me sick.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

O'Reilly has it Wrong, again.

More than occasionally, I listen to one the ubiquitous right-wing talk radio shows out there (I think it's illegal in this part of the country to broadcast a left-wing show). And, to tell the truth, I often agree with what I hear. But a couple days ago Bill O'Reilly claimed that the founding fathers intended this country to be a Christian country, and that really set me to thinking.

Now, a "country" is a political entity, having a designated head of state, a specific system of government and defined geographic borders. I submit that the founders (all of whom were not even Christian, by the way) most specifically did NOT intend this to be a Christian country, as evidenced by their inclusion in the constitution of a very specific separation of Church and State. Okay, I know those exact words aren't there, but by "not making a law that respects one religion over another," Jefferson et. al. are obviously advocating a government that is not only secular in itself, but, by definition, equally tolerant of all faiths. Herein lies both the beauty and strength of our constitution and of our government.

On the other hand, a "nation" is a much looser aggregate of people linked by some commonality, be it race, language, or ethnicity. Or even Christianity. If O'Reilly had stated that the founders had intended this nation to be a "Christian nation," I could have let it go (even though I know what he's inferring). As a "nation," that is, a social, sociological, and cultural entity, Christianity was one of the commonalities between a majority of the founders. But, and this is an absolutely key caveat, they were far-sighted enough to be able to separate the structure of a government from the composition of the people. It's a distinction that neither O'Reilly nor our current administration seems able to make.

I should have known better than to tune to The O'Reilly Factor in the first place. What no spin zone?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

One last bumper sticker

Mrs. L. Described this one to me and, although I do not entirely agree (for those of you who don't know me, I just felt I had to make that point clear), I felt that I should share it.

"Love God - hate his fan club."

Tell it like it is, brother....

Why is it?

The Dominion of Canada's House of Commons passed a resolution legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the country yesterday. Okay, technically, it still has to be passed by the Senate, but I understand that this is purely a pre-forma procedure.

And so Canada joins the august ranks of those few [3] countries who have actually risen above their own prejudice and formally recognized that citizens either have rights, or they don't. You can't arbitrarily "cherry pick" which citizens have certain rights and which don't -- unlike most things in this world, it's a black and white issue.

The thought has also occurred to me to pose the question as to why, as a nation advances socially, culturally, and technologically, the so-called Christian Church seems to lose influence? Is it because those advanced nation's have matured beyond religion?

I've always admired Canada.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Too PC, or not to PC?

Rampant political correctness continues to plague the land. Howard Dean states that the Republican Party is "pretty much a white, Christian party" and pundits from both sides of the divide go wild. Politicians of every stripe rush to distance themselves from Dean, afraid that he'll drag them down with him. Well, I gots some news for ya: The Republican party IS primarily white, and primarily Christian, and if stating the facts is a crime, then send me too jail.

Now that I think of it, I'd wager that the Democratic Party is also primarily a white, Christian party. What's the big deal?

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bumper Sticker Addendum

I just saw this one yesterday and had to add it to my list:

Guns save lives. (Although I continue to maintain that there is no valid reason for the average citizen to even own, let alone carry, a gun, logic such as this goes a long way towards explaining the GNL (gun nut lobby) mentality. How do you counter such a blatant denial of reality?)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Most stupid bumper stickers

In no particular order:

At least I can still smoke in my car (well, have at it!! - just don't complain to me in two years when you're hooked up to an oxygen bottle and the doctor says you've got 6 months to live because the cancer has spread.)

Experience the joy of knowing and doing the will of God (Yes, this entire thing was spread across the bumper. I am not sure how this guy got the number to God's direct line, but more power to him. We all have our crutches...)

Patriots don't vote for Kerry (Yeah, it's a bit dated, but it still ticks me off - labeling anyone who disagrees with you as unpatriotic seems to go against against the very premise of democracy as the expressed will of the people. In fact, I'd suggest that such a sentiment was much more unpatrotic than voting for Kerry could ever be.)

I took a kid hunting at XXXX National Park (So you taught a child how to kill defenseless animals for the sheer pleasure of it? Bravo!)

One story. End of story. (so much for religious tolerance - see also number two above.)

Keep marriage sacred (I am assuming that "sacred" is a code word for perpetuating discrimination by limiting the option to legally marry to those who share the same narrow-minded point of view as you do)

Thought for the Day

"Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals."

by Rabbi-poet Samuel Ullman (1840-1924)

If this gives you pause, maybe you owe it to yourself to stop and take a look at where you are in life and what it took to get there. I know I did, and it was enlightening.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

A Broken Heart

My heart crys for the poor parents of the two 8-year old little girls found stabbed to death in the city of Zion, Il, yesterday. A permanent sadness settles across the plains.

At times like this I fail to understand how anyone could possibly be against the death penalty.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

To all of those whom I have to share the road with....

Please, put down the hamburger, newspaper, cigarette, or mascara, leave disciplining the kids until you get home, turn down the radio so that I can hold a normal conversation in my own car, and for God's sake, HANG UP THE DAMMED CELL PHONE!!!

Maybe then you'll be able to stay in your own lane (yes, we each have one), stop at stop signs, and keep up with the normal flow of traffic. I'm just saying....

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Dumbest Thing I've Read in a Long Time

Perhaps this isn't so very unusual, but the response to it has me thinking. Several weeks ago in a city near here some idiot stalked and killed his estranged wife and her female friend in front of their three children. He followed them in their SUV, forced their vehicle to the side of the road, opened the door and shot his wife in the back as she attempted to run away. And then he went back and shot her friend, for good measure, I suppose. Fortunately for society, the man soon thereafter died when he crashed his own SUV while attempting to flee. Two innocent women dead and three children scarred for life.

Then yesterday I read in the opinion column of our local newspaper that it was all the government's fault for not allowing the wife to carry a concealed weapon in order to protect herself. Now the issue here wasn't that she'd applied for a concealed carry permit and been turned down (she had not), but that, I suppose, it's okay for a mother of three to carry a loaded firearm in her car with three small children. In fact, the writer went to far as to condemn the government for not allowing ALL adults to carry concealed weapons. Silly me, I thought the problem here was that THE HUSBAND DID HAVE A GUN, NOT THAT THE WIFE DIDN'T. After all, he's the one who actually did the deed.

Am I off base here?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

For those who wondered....

Dada or Dadaism [French, from dada, child's word for a horse] Nihilistic movement in the arts that flourished chiefly in France, Switzerland, and Germany from about 1916 to about 1920 [and later -ed.] and that was based on the principles of deliberate irrationality, anarchy, and cynicism and the rejection of laws of beauty and social organization.

The most widely accepted account of the movement's naming concerns a meeting held in 1916 at Hugo Ball's Cabaret (Café) Voltaire in Zürich, during which a paper knife inserted into a French-German dictionary pointed to the word dada; this word was seized upon by the group as appropriate for their anti-aesthetic creations and protest activities, which were engendered by disgust for bourgeois values and despair over World War I.

In the United States the movement was centered in New York at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery, "291," and at the studio of the Walter Arensbergs. Dada-like activities, arising independently but paralleling those in Zürich, were engaged in by such chiefly visual artists as Man Ray and Francis Picabia. Both through their art and through such publications as The Blind Man, Rongwrong, and New York Dada, the artists attempted to demolish current aesthetic standards. Traveling between the United States and Europe, Picabia became a link between the Dada groups in New York City, Zürich, and Paris; his Dada periodical, 291, was published in Barcelona, New York City, Zürich, and Paris from 1917 through 1924.

In 1917 the Dada movement was transmitted to Berlin, where it took on a more political character. The Berlin artists, too, issued Dada publications: Club Dada, Der Dada, Jedermann sein eigner Fussball ("Everyman His Own Football"), and Dada Almanach.

In Paris Dada took on a literary emphasis under one of its founders, the poet Tristan Tzara. Most notable among Dada pamphlets and reviews was Littérature (published 1919-24), which contained writings by André Breton, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault, and Paul Éluard. After 1922, however, Dada faded and many Dadaists grew interested in surrealism.


Other good sites:


Sunday, February 27, 2005

I'm back!

Okay, a couple of people expressed an interest and so I thought, well, I guess the blog doesn't take up that much time. And to tell the truth, it actually made me feel good that at least three people beside myself actually read this occasionally (hint: a comment every once in a while would be nice...). That, and I received this really gross hand bill on my porch the other day that I just had to tell someone about.

It's from the National Alliance, an organization which I was not formerly familiar with, but am apparently eligible to join. But even if I don't join, you can bet I'll be watching for them in the future. I bet you didn't know that the US government is about to start "impressing" citizens into the military to fight for the Jews in the Middle East. Or that if white people would only put racial loyalty in front of wasting their lives on drugs, white superiority would certainly be assured (who are these folks?). Or that whites must all band together to raise millions of dollars to fund new media outlets in order to counter all those owned by Jews. Or even that "all around the world white men are being slaughtered, violently and ruthlessly massacred at genocidal rates" (actual quote). Only maybe not in my neighborhood so much - or perhaps the perpetrators are so very socially conscious that they always clean up those whom they have ruthlessly slaughtered. In any case, I haven't noticed any dead whites on my block lately.

I have only one thing to say to anyone associated with this hand bill, the National Alliance, or JewWatch, and let me be perfectly clear: You make me ashamed. Ashamed that our society puts up with trash like you, ashamed to live in the same neighborhood with you, and ashamed to be associated with you, even if only by skin color. I wake up every morning ready to serve my country whenever she may call, but I'll be God damned if I ever defend your right to free speech. I don't do drugs as a matter of course, and I don't judge people I don't know because of the color of their skin.

Oh, and one other thing. If I ever catch you on my property again, I'm going to kick your God damned ass.... and you can take that to the bank.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Why I joined the ACLU

Text of an article titled Christian Right Marks Start of `a good 4 years' (by Robin Abcarian - Los Angeles Times)

A couple of hours after President Bush took the oath of office, the indefatigable Rev. Lou Sheldon, founder and chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, was more upbeat than usual. On Wednesday, Sheldon had tossed a Christian bash for more than 800 people at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The host committee was virtually a who's who of politically important evangelicals, including Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed and Rev. Jerry Falwell. On Thursday, Sheldon played host to an indoor gathering of about 300 fellow Christians, people who wanted to experience the inauguration events with like-minded people but weren't inclined to brave the weather.

"This is the beginning of a good four years," said Sheldon, who is given to quoting historical figures and this time offered a snippet of George Washington's 1796 farewell address: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports." "Religion and morality," Sheldon repeated. "That's what is happening--that fusion of religion and morality and public policy has now come about."

Comment by L. P. : It seems to me that the fusion of "religion... and public policy" must be effected by at least a partial fusion of church and state, the strict separation of which I will continue to defend until the day I die. Disturbing trends such as the one detailed above are why I joined the ACLU just this morning. Check it out at

I am reminded of Michael Douglas' character in An American President, when he confronts a crowd of hostile reporters and says "Why yes, I AM a card carrying member of the ACLU - an organization devoted solely to protecting the rights guaranteed to you by the United States Constitution - the question is, why aren't YOU a member?"

So there.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

School District Rejects Science

By Jon Hurdle

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania school district on Wednesday rejected charges that plans to include references to an alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution in high school biology classes would be illegal. The Dover Area School District near Harrisburg is the first in the United States to introduce "Intelligent Design," a theory that the natural world is so complex it must have been made by an intelligent being, rather than occurring by chance, as held by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The district was sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State on Dec. 14 over plans to teach the theory starting next week. The lawsuit is the first to challenge the teaching of Intelligent Design, which the groups say violates the Constitutional separation of church and state.

The civil rights groups argued that "Intelligent Design" is a thinly veiled version of creationism -- the belief that the earth was made by God. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the 1980s that teaching creationism in public schools would violate the constitutional separation of church and state.

On Jan. 13, teachers will be required to read a statement saying that Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin's view, and that if students want to read more about it, they can read a book called "Of Pandas and People" which they can find in the school library.

Lawyers for the school board said that neither creationism nor "Intelligent Design" will be taught to students, and that no religious beliefs will be taught.

Intelligent Comment by M. L.:

Intelligent design presupposes that complexity plus existence equals God. A more valid argument would be that complexity plus existence equals a complex existence. But I don’t suppose reason or logic have much play in this particular argument.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

A partial response to my Christian friends who believe (among other things) that the earth is only 5,000 years old

Recent conversations at work have resulted in my being bombarded with the URLs to websites such as , , and .

This is not an uncommon response to my professed belief in Science as opposed to religious myth. Needless to say, my beliefs are not very popular in this part of the country, nor, in some cases, are they even well tolerated. More on that later.

As background, I am replying specifically to the article The earth's magnetic field: evidence that the earth is young by Jonathan Sarfati (see the first URL above).

My friend,

I am not a scientist, but I do consider myself a fairly logical type. So, as I am unable to respond from the scientific perspective (at least not without a considerable degree of research which I don't have the time to do), I will respond from the rationalist one.

Belief in God does not preclude a belief in Science, so why do you persist in believing in such fictions? This article is based upon the work of (among others) "creationist physics professor Dr. Thomas Barnes" - Unfortunately, the very fact that Dr. Barnes is identified as a "creationist physics professor" undermines it's validity. It is obvious that the good Dr. 1) had already reached his conclusion and was searching for a theory to support it, and 2) is unwilling to be swayed from this conclusion.

True science arrives at a plausible conclusion that explains the phenomena in question only after research has been concluded, therefore leaving open the possibility that any one of many (or even several) explanations might be true. The evidence should lead to the facts, not the other way around.

A second principle of science is that any theory is only as good as the current state of knowledge. That allows the various beliefs of the Greeks, the Romans, Galileo, and today's physicists and astronomers each to be valid for their time, and each (hopefully) is closer and closer to a true and accurate description of a part of our universe. The door, however, is left open for the next theory which may be even closer to the truth - science isn't the answer, it's the on-going process of arriving at the answer. It is implied by the very fact that Dr. Barnes conclusion is based upon the scripture (and therefore upon the word of God), that his conclusions allow no others - in effect, after thousands of years, Dr Barnes has arrived at the body knowledge that signals the end of science. After all, who needs science if you already have the final answer. As a rational human being, I feel it would be the height of arrogance to believe that I alone (or my small band of cohorts) possessed the ultimate answers - but then again, that's what Christianity is about, isn't it?

I have already stated my final point, but will voice it here again: if Dr. Barnes, research, and that of his colleagues, were legitimate, it would be accepted as fact by a majority of the scientific community. There is no underground conspiracy to keep "Christian Science" under wraps - the only criteria for being accepted are the same criteria applied to every single other scientific theory. Unfortunately, Dr. Barnes falls somewhat short.

Allow me to close with a quote from the late Karl Sagan it dosen't deal directly with the Young Earth theory, but with in a larger sense with the legitimacy of a belief in God at all:

"If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn't he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why is he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He's not good at design, he's not good at execution. He'd be out of business if there was any competition.

The bad news for Scripture-based Science is that there is competition. I grow weary, but continue to look forward to the new year. And I remain, as always, your friend.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

So why is it, as busy as I claim to be, I always seem to be able to cave out an hour to watch ER on Thursday nights? And it always makes me cry.


Tuesday, December 07, 2004

My Christmas Wish

Dear Santa,

For Christmas this year, I wish for one day in Iraq when nobody dies. Thank you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2004


I am in an angry mood today. The headline reads "Shooting of Iraqi in Mosque angers Muslims." Do you want to know something? Hanging dead Americans from bridges makes me angry. Mortar shells landing in the middle of a crowded marketplace makes me angry. Some bastards in masks cutting the head off of some poor sod, bound and and foot, his body convulsing... makes me angry. Terrorists murdering innocent women who have worked thirty years to improve the lot of the average Iraqi... makes me angry. Watching the 3-year-old son of Sgt Carlos Riviera cry at his dad's funeral makes me especially angry. And I hope God, if he does exist, reserves a special place in hell just for Al Jezera. Get over it -

It's time we got over our supposed Western morality and fought this war the way it's being fought against us. I wonder how much damage a bunch of American terrorists running around Iraq could do? I mean real terrorists - unencumbered by the rules of war, or by the press, or by whatever anyone else thinks.

Ahh shit - the whole thing just makes me mad....

A couple of quotes I came across late one night...

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictator-ship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to great danger."

----HERMAN GORING at the Nuremberg Trials

"A little patience and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt......If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

----THOMAS JEFFERSON, in a letter from 1798

These quotes could apply to any number of things going on right now.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Reflections upon the great election of '04

Well, the election results are in and I am only slightly numb. I had suspected Kerry would have an uphill battle all along, but he probably didn’t help himself by acting so, well, Senatorial (if that’s even a word) for most of the campaign. Conversely, Bush made every effort to increase his appeal to Joseph Q. Everyman by showing that he was just a regular kind of guy. What can I say? People like other folks like themselves. It is one of the enduring paradoxes of democracy that the “will of the people” is so often placed upon a pedestal as some type of ideal, but that this will is often the result of nothing more than the coalescing of a collective fear of change, short term financial motivations, and blatant self-interest.

That said, I would suggest that the greatest tragedy of the 2004 elections isn’t that Kerry lost – it’s that the citizens of eleven (count ‘em, eleven!) states decided it was a good thing to codify their personal fears and prejudices by amending their state’s constitutions to outlaw Gay marriage. I often wonder what type of mass neurosis must be affecting so many of my fellow Americans that they actually think discrimination is allowable so long as it is legislated. I am, in fact, reminded of the fact that Adolph Hitler was legally elected, that his assumption of dictatorial powers was duly approved by the Reichstag, and that every single terrible thing that happened to the Jews in Germany was the direct result of statutes adapted by the government and enforced by the entire judicial apparatus of the nation.

Now don’t take this out of context and say that I am comparing our conservative Christian friends to the Nazis – the differences should be so abundantly clear that they need no elucidation here. I am merely voicing the opinion that just because something is legal, or even reflecting the will of a majority, doesn’t necessarily make it right. Considering our own country's recent history in the civil rights arena, I think this is a critical distinction, and one which should be in the forefront of every voters mind before they pull that lever. It has never been the proper place of government to legislate private morality, but to provide for the safety, rights and freedoms of all of its citizens. America’s greatest challenge is not Iraq, or terrorism, but whether we will allow ourselves to become the same type of insular and intolerant nation that distinguished us from the Old World two-hundred years ago.

I consider myself a patriotic American, and the times are very few indeed that I have been ashamed of my country. This is one of those times.