Sunday, June 12, 2011
Nice Prayer, I think we should remember to say it more than once a liturgical year.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
My favorite Dr. Who quote
The Doctor replies, "I am making perfect sense, you're not keeping up."
Friday, June 10, 2011
Congressman Joe Heck (from Nevada)
132 Cannon House office Building
Washington DC 20515
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Something to read
Deconstructs the "truth" as spun by the Bush White House spin doctors, and gives the background and facts behind them. Reports on the reality, not the released to the press information.
Sunday, June 05, 2011
taken from another's webpage
by Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Religious Liberalism and the Founding Fathers
Humanism, one of the greatest achievements of western civilization, has become a dirty word. Humanism, one of the essential aspects of our American heritage, has become an un-American word. Something is terribly wrong when a good term like this is abused by people who ought to know better.
It used to be that all of America's ills were blamed on a "communist" conspiracy, but now this has been replaced by a "humanist" conspiracy. Humanists are being targeted as the source of every "evil," from homosexuality to one-world government. The fact that the American Communist Party had become fossilized and a laughingstock did not deter earlier conspiracy theorists. And now to propose that the 3000-member American Humanist Association has a stranglehold on our minds is an insult to all intelligent Americans.
Communism, by and large, deserves the bad press that it receives. One can understand how Communism has become a dirty word. Many lives and much freedom have been lost in the name of Communism, just as formerly many were lost in the name of Christianity. But as far as I know, no one has ever been killed in the name of humanism.
This attack is truly incredible if one considers that the humanism of Socrates has become the basis for our ethical individualism; the humanism of the Greek Sophists gave law its adversarial system and inspired Renaissance humanists to extend education to the masses as well as to the aristocracy; the Christian humanism of Aquinas and Erasmus helped temper negative views of human nature found in the biblical tradition; and the humanism of the Enlightenment gave us political rights, representative government, and free market economics. It has been said that "the pluralistic, democratic, secular, humanistic state...is one of the greatest political inventions of all time . . . "
Why has this innocent name been blackened? Why has the humanist become the new Satan and anti-Christ? The Religious Right must certainly take most of the blame, even, regrettably so, some of the best evangelical theologians. John Jefferson Davis, who otherwise makes some positive contributions to systematic theology, claims that an "ntirevelational" humanism is the cause of mental illness, international terrorism, and other evils.
Some of the blame also lies with narrow-minded humanists who have insisted that only their views are Atrue@ humanism. When some humanists say that only those who reject a belief in God and put their trust squarely in the scientific method are real humanists, they are distorting the meaning of humanism. When someone like B. F. Skinner, one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto, claims that human beings have no freedom nor dignity, this is also a significant deviation from traditional humanism.
The late Jerry Falwell charges that humanism "challenges every principle on which America was founded. It advocates abortion-on-demand, recognition of homosexuals, free use of pornography, legalizing of prostitution and gambling, the free use of drugs... and the socialization of all humanity into a world commune." Needless to say, traditional humanism is not bound at all to any of these positions. Many of the humanists in the Libertarian Party would agree with most of this list, but as laissez-faire capitalists, they would definitely reject the world commune idea. There are also many Christian humanists who would disagree with most of these points. I shall also demonstrate that, contrary to Falwell's claims, America was founded on humanist principles.
The development of modern humanism went hand-in-hand with the rise of what I call Aclassical liberalism.@ Our word Aliberal@ comes from the Latin adjective liberalis, which means Apertaining to a free person.@ In feudal times a free person had to be born from noble stock, so that the liberi were then contrasted with the servi, the feudal serfs. Classical liberals challenged this distinction and declared that all human beings, whatever their social status, were from the same universal, noble stock.
Classical liberals viewed individuals as self-legislative beings, moral agents who, by the use of reason and experience, decided for themselves how their lives were to be fashioned and led. Classical liberals challenged the authority of governments and churches to interfere unnecessarily in individual lives. These first liberals were responsible for the basic freedoms that many people now enjoy--religious, intellectual, economic, and political.
Our Founding Fathers were definitely part of this liberal, humanist tradition. Norman Cousins even suggests that Enlightenment philosophers like John Locke and David Hume were the "invisible Founding Fathers." All of them retained a belief in God, but Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Paine, and Franklin rejected major Christian doctrines, including original sin, the deity of Christ, the Trinity, etc.
The famous Jefferson-Adams correspondence is filled with references to their common reading in the Greeks and the humanistic philosophers of the Enlightenment. It is also replete with criticisms of orthodox Christianity, especially Calvinism. In one letter Jefferson said that "it would be more pardonable to believe in no God at all, than to blaspheme Him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin."
Other early Americans like John Jay, Patrick Henry, and Samuel Adams had much more conservative views about Christianity, but they too agreed to put personal religious views aside and to establish a secular state free from all religious doctrine. The most striking proof of our Founding Fathers' belief in a secular state was the Treaty of Tripoli, whose eleventh article begins: "As the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion...." President Washington negotiated this treaty, the Senate ratified it without any recorded debate, and President Adams signed it.
I was surprised to find that Jerry Falwell appears to agree with this position. In an interview in Christianity Today (September, 1981) he stated that "America is not a Christian nation, it has never been a Christian nation, and it is never going to be a Christian nation." Then, with very few intervening words, he manages to Christianize America as a nation "under God" which has survived by following divine principles. Falwell completes the full circle of a logical contradiction by concluding that "God has raised up America in these last days for the cause of world evangelism and for the protection of his people, the Jews. I don't think America has any other right or reason for existence other than those two purposes."
One would look in vain in the documents of our Founding Fathers for such a parochial reason for America to exist. America exists not for the protection of the Jewish state or the evangelizing of the world. America does not exist as a mere means for any specialized interests, religious or secular. The humanist ideal for America is that America exists as an end itself: to allow for the greatest fulfillment of human freedom and dignity.
We have seen that traditional humanists believe that human beings have intrinsic value and are autonomous centers of value with free-will and moral responsibility. They hold that all persons have inalienable rights, including free expression and inquiry. They also use reason, not divine revelation, as the guide for moral action and education; but this does not mean that humanism is anti-Christian or anti-religion in general.
The fundamental principles of humanism turn out to be the principles of our state, not of any particular church. To ban the teaching of humanism in pubic schools would be to effectively ban the teaching of basic American values. The political philosophy taught in civics classes would also have to be rejected as "humanistic religion." The idea of free market capitalism is yet another contribution of classical liberalism and humanism. It too would have to be banned from our schools. Reductio ad absurdum!
interesting historical message
The late DR. WILLIAM TEMPLE Archbishop of Canterbury
(“The Archbishop's Conference, Malvern, London, 1941, page 13).
Ah yes, that great believer in Christianity being a religion of the state, Adolph Hitler
Saturday, June 04, 2011
One Nation "Under God"
Those words were never a part of the original pledge of allegence. Those words were added in the 1950's, the era of Eugene Mcarthy. The era of extreme paranoia.
Yet people like to say that it's what the "founding Fathers" intended.
I don't think so.
I think the fuss over putting the "Under God" back into the pledge is just a ruse to keep the citizens mind off of more important subjects.
Friday, June 03, 2011
Well, Well, Well...look what one of our "Founding Fathers" has signed.
Signed by John Adams
"As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] ... it is declared ... that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries....
"The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."
-- Treaty of Tripoli (1797), carried unanimously by the Senate and signed into law by John Adams (the original language is by Joel Barlow, US Consul)
Knowing about your history
So yesterday I began doing some research on my own.
It helps when you work at a university, with the entire library system's catalog at my disposal.
Found some intersting stuff. In Kingsbury, The Maine townsman,or, Laws for the regulation of towns and judicial decisions, adapted to the revised statutes of Maine, 14th edition, 1872 There are provisions under title 6 Of Paupers Chapter LXII "Duties of towns relative to the poor".
1. "Towns are to relieve persons having a settlement therein, when, on occaount of poverty, they need relief. They may raise money therefor as for other charges of the town; and may at their annual meeting choose not exceeding twelve legal voters therein to be overseers of the poor."
Hummmmm, I guess there were liberals even back in the old day, huh?
Thursday, June 02, 2011
other people's children
Other people's children clean the office you work in, the hospital you go to for help and the streets you walk or ride on.
Other people's children run the gas station where you buy gas for your car.
Other people's children gather produce from the field, slaughter the animals, process the meat, deliver it to market and package it for sale in the supermarket or butcher shop.
Other people's children check out your groceries at the store, bag it and take it to your vehicle.
Other people's children assure your safety by patroling the city streets, directing traffic,an upholding the laws of your community.
Other people's children fight fires in the forest and in your community.
Other people's children patrol the rivers and lakes of your community.
Other people's children maintain the roads, sewers, airports, as well as staff the railways and buses.
Other people's children build your Lexus. Ford, Dodge or Kia at US assembly plants.
Other people's children prep the food, cook the food and serve the food at the resturant you go to for lunch or dinner or celebrations.
Other people's children are the Geek Squad at Best Buy that fixes your computer.
Other people's children are dental hygeinists, CNA's, physical therapists, occupational therapists.
Other people's children cut lawns, clean and maintain pools, sweep the city streets.
Other people's children serve your coffee at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.
So, do you really want any of those other people's kids to do these things without knowing how to read, write and reason? Do you want other people's kids to live without knowing what's happened in our past, so they don't repeat the mistakes others have made? Do you want other people's kids living off welfare because they don't know how to do something useful to earn a living?
Do you want to trust your life to an x-ray tech who can't read the instructions on the machine? Or if he or she can't read the doctor's order? What if he or she can't calculate the amount of time needed to give x-rays as a part of cancer treatment?
Do you want the pharmacy tech to know how to count the pills prescribed? Do you want the person who makes prosthetic legs, arms, etc to know how to measure the peice they are making accurately?
Do you want the military who defend your nation to know how to think in a firefight and keep themselves and their comrades safe?
What's wrong with paying to educate other people's children?
We all benefit when the children of our neighbors are educated because we all benefit from their efforts.
Good citizens know what's important. Selfish citizens should go live in a cave.
Just my opinion.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Vouchers? An educational free ride.
We still paid our taxes. You know those funny payments that would be used to fund the public education system we were not using. Why? Because we were and still are, as far as I know, good citizens.
Did we ever ask for our taxes back? No. We didn't ask that our children go to school for free, or ask someone else to pay our kids tuition. No. We made a choice and we paid for it.
So, now the big deal is "Charter Schools" which are really private schools funded by taxpayer money. Some charge tuition.
Some legislators and governors want to allow people who choose the "Charter School" option for their children to get "vouchers" to pay them back for what they have to pay in charges and tuition to send thier kids to these private/public schools.
Maybe I'm being thick headed, but that's seems like someone says give my kids a better education, let me pay my taxes, and then give me back the taxes I paid so my kids get to go to school for "free".
Free. As in not paying taxes for anyone so the kids get to go to school but still getting a break/benefit for sending their children to a not regular public school.
I don't think that is fair.
I sent my kids to Catholic school. Religious education. God.
Public school. Secular education. Civic sponsored.
So then how do vouchers fit into the "render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's"
Seems more like giving somone something for nothing.
But then that's just my opinion, right?
Don't you just hate people who expect you to pay for the stuff they use, but you don't need or intend to use?
But I don't.
Because there are rules for being a good citizen and they include being a part of a whole, even if it means supporting a public education system that you're not using.
Or for food stamps you don't need.
Or free dental or medical care to people who can't afford to pay for insurance premiums.
Render to Caesar, and don't complain about it.
Just my opinion naturally.