I am traveling for work, so naturally I had to go to church somewhere new. It was nice. It was a branch, so smaller, but very nice nevertheless. The sacrament meeting was sweet as the speakers were all children. The talks were simple, but very heartfelt and it was just a very nice atmosphere. Sometimes I get so worried about working on planning and executing sacrament meeting that I do not have time to enjoy it. I enjoyed it more than I have in a long time. Maybe this year I can relax more and enjoy what I have?
I’m currently wearing a bow tie, because…”Bow Ties Are Cool!!!” Which, is naturally something that Matt Smith, the former Dr. Who with a predilection for bow ties, said and became an international meme. Matt Smith left the Whoverse recently, with the introduction of Scottish Peter Capaldi. I got a little misty-eyed watching the ending, because Matt Smith was a figure I had grown attached to. In a way, I loved him, loved his flamboyance, loved his character, etc… I am a Who fan, which is odd since only nerds watch Dr. Who, at least they used to. I am not sure if there are more nerds these days or if the show is no longer just for nerds, but it has become an international sensation.
And a thought struck as a sat there, a few tears leaking out. Is it silly to grow this fond of a television character? Not really. I love a lot of things. I loved Harry Potter. I love Paul Simon. I love Gershwin. I love music, literature, cinema, etc… I was a little sad when “Kim” ended. I was sad when Matt Smith regenerated. I am sad because it is something I loved, which inevitably ends. There is a lot of Buddhism inherent in this, the benefits of non-attachment. But there is more too.
We lose when we love, the joy we get from love is the opposite cost of the loss of that love, and the absence is somewhat painful. If we focus on what we had, then we have more in the long run, however. If we focus on the loss, then we have pain. But there is more. I loved David Eddings as a kid. I read the Belgariad and really fell in love with fantasy fiction. He was my gateway drug. And when the books ended I felt like I had lost a friend. But then when I found Simon and Garfunkel, I fell in love with them too, and there is no more new music. That too is a loss. And on, and on. Veronica Mars was a television show I loved, as was Battlestar Galactica, and they both ended (though the new VM movie looks good).
The point being, I am sad that Matt Smith is no longer the Dr, but I fell in love with him. I may fall in love with Peter Capaldi, given my geek credentials, it is likely. So I have that to look forward to. In truth, what I have to look forward to is all of the new books, new music, new cinema, and new relationships that I have yet to experience that I can fall in love with all over again.
And I think that this is the lesson to learn from the rogue Time Lord. After living over 1200 years old, he was still falling in love with the universe and traveling around seeing all there was to see. Certainly, it is fictional, but it is also wonderful to think about, in terms of the possibilities. There is always more to fall in love with in the world, always more to experience, that we should continue to seek out everything we can.
So, to Matt Smith, you were a dream come true and you will be missed, but thanks for letting me know I will fall in love with something else again, and for the time being, I have the memories of my children snuggled up to me on the couch, watching you save the world in episode after episode, to buoy me on the search. And here’s to the next adventure.
So in an odd twist, Newt Gingrich wrote something positive about the passing of Nelson Mandela. I did not expect that, but then again I wrote something positive about the passing of Osama Bin Laden (in essence his life had so much potential to use his influence for good, it was a shame he did not go the other way). There is a sadness to any life passing, and that should be recognized. So kudos to Newt.
Then he was criticized by some of his followers. One particular response caught my eye…
Is Trish Baehr-Schaefer a racist or does she just not know the difference between a guerrilla fighter and a gorilla? Or perhaps both? Is this an “informed” American?
Sometimes it is hard to tell if this stuff is real.
I really do love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday by far, it is my favorite season by far, and I am deliriously happy at Christmas. I love the music, the snow on the ground, the hot chocolate, the spirit. Sure the crass commercialization is irritating, but I can put up with it for the sake of the season. I love it, and it is just fun.
Susan Shannon over at the Christian Conservative has posted on Abortion, and the evils of abortion. She starts,
I distinctly remember when the United States would openly berate China on its ‘One Child’ policy because it led to men and women literally throwing their females newborns into the garbage to die. They still do this. Because if they don’t, the Chinese government will put them in jail. In fact, we have had recent reports of the Chinese and North Korean governments arresting women who had the temerity to get pregnant after already having a successful baby and forcing an abortion upon them.
Naturally, she has no idea what she is talking about. China is abandoning its one child policy, and it has been effectively ignored for some time. I know many Chinese people of my generation who have brothers and sisters. Ms Shannon’s research is shoddy.
More so, the effort to make abortion illegal has been a hallmark of Republican efforts for some time, but has always ended in failure. This is on purpose. Republicans WANT abortion to be legal, because they can use it as a political tool. If it became illegal, then Democrats would be flooded with money to reverse the illegality. The Republican Party health plan included abortion until they were caught and forced to pull the coverage.
Two Reagan Republicans, Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson wrote about their efforts to push Christian legislation in 1980 and became disillusioned by politics in “Blinded by Might”. They determined that abortion did not significantly change with legality, or illegality, and that the root cause of abortion was what needed to be pushed, not legislation. When women who sought abortions had alternatives, had support, and could find a viable option to not have an abortion, they would choose the alternative, but this is not sexy, it takes a lot of time and effort, and drumming up political support is relatively easy. Speeches, pamphlets, political rhetoric…this is relatively cheap.
I oppose abortion in almost any sense, but I think it should be legal, because if someone is going to do it, they should be safe. Rather than vote, I would rather be involved in the lives of youth and help women directly. This is difficult, it is heartbreaking, and it is sad, but it actually works.
So, I was commenting on how some “Christians” fail to understand Islam and are woefully prejudiced on a “Christian” blog, and the owner deleted my comments. The entire series is here…
What is interesting is how she claims…
“I have no idea what you are talking about. Perhaps they went to spam.”
But even more interesting…
“No one wants to read an encyclopedia as a response to an article.”
She posted 905 words about a subject she knows nothing about, made numerous mistakes, outright lied in a number of cases, and made a fool of herself.
I posted 755 words…and it is an encyclopedia.
Here is the dirty little secret…she knows as little about the other subjects she discusses. Someone who puts this little effort into hate against Islam is not going to put any more significant effort into political opinions, into religious study, into anything. This level of lazy effort translates into everything.
This is why Christianity is failing, why the Republican/Tea Party is failing, and why America is failing, not because people are stupid, but because they are so very, very lazy.
This Blog is a PERFECT example of the Tea Party/Faux Christian perspective on anything. It is a terrible blog, almost every post is a disaster of logic, facts, and just general opinion formation. This is not because of the opinions, per se, but because the opinions are not based in any way on facts, understanding, logic, or even reality. The problem here could be cured with a healthy dose of education, but as I have said thousands of times before, education is hard. It takes time, effort, lots of work, and takes time away from American Idol. So why be educated when you can say anything you like.
The problem is this post here. Female Circumcision is a huge problem, but to use it as a bludgeon to attack a religion you do not like it not only unethical and immoral, it is clearly bearing false witness, something a claiming Christian would normally avoid.
My comments were censored out, but here is what I wrote in response…
Your comments are woefully incorrect and I cannot imagine that for a moment you actually researched them. You state “Woman hatred is so profound in Islam that even sex with women (filthy, sinful creatures that we are) is to be frowned upon” then you clearly have very little clue. Islam allowed up to 4 wives, which was a reduction from unlimited wives. If you read Fazlur Rahman, he would argue that it is a movement towards monogamy, but this is not a universal though I consider Rahman’s logic to be unassailable.
Nevertheless, your criticism is odd. Before Islam, women children were left to die of exposure, they did not have legal rights, let alone inheritance rights, and were considered fairly weak. Islam protected girl children, gave women legal rights and inheritance rights, and demanded protection of widows. Women were desired to the point that men had whole harems, and while a limitation of 4 women is a significant reduction, there was still a desire to have as many wives as possible. So the claim that men did not even want women for sex is completely contradictory to historical Islam or modern Islam. As a point of reference, I lived in the Middle East for a LONG time, speak Arabic, have advanced degrees in Middle Eastern Studies, etc… so a lot of this is what I dealt with for my professional life.
You continue with a WHO report that you claim, “While some Muslim countries ‘officially’ frown on it, culturally it is accepted and promoted- by the very police that should be cracking down on it.” This is odd, since homosexuality is punishable by death, and this punishment is not unheard of. I do not know what police you know of who are pushing homosexuality, but I would be interested in hearing specifics.
You have stated “When I went to the World Heath Organization online, they tell us that ‘religious communities’ in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have already committed this atrocity on over 140 million women living today. Amazingly enough, they leave out one BLARING fact: these ‘religious communities’ are ALL ISLAMIC. No Christian would do this to their little girl.”
You do not seem to understand what is going on here. Female Circumcision is common in Africa, more so outside of Islamic areas than in it, and it is practiced by Christians in Africa as well as Muslims. Copts are participants in the procedure, specifically. The distinguishing feature is usually not religion, but culture and social status. You will find women have been circumcised who come from poor, relatively rural areas. This applies to Copts, Muslims, and Anamists. To say that “these ‘religious communities’ are ALL ISLAMIC” is not only blatantly untrue, it is absurdly ignorant. Any minute amount of research would have told you this.
On another note, it is interesting that Muslim nations elected women as heads of state well before the US did, and granted more significant status to women well before the “Christian” West.
You conclude, “The blatant and ugly embracing of such female hatred by the left, while at the same time DARING to claim the mantel of CARING for women doesn’t even make them stutter. But it makes me stutter, alright. And sputter. And rage.”
Yet you have very little understanding of what you are speaking about. My wife worked for NGOs that were working to end Female Circumcision, she spent a lot of time with it, and your comments do more than not help, they actually hurt. False information, either a deliberate lie or just poor research, results in more problems than if you simply kept quiet. Your prejudice focuses on Islam, but the problem is not Islam, any more than it is Christianity or Anamism in those faiths, and to focus on one faith because you are prejudiced ignores the problems that exist in other areas. Christians that circumcise female children would be ignored since you assume that Christians do not do this. You may claim that these are not “real” Christians, but that would be absolutely absurd. The problem is far more widespread, and is oddly not widespread in other Islamic areas.
Your problem is not that you are wrong, you clearly are, but it is that your prejudice is not inhibited by an even ounce of restraint, given the absurd level of ignorance your opinions are based on. You are violating any number of Christian ethical premises, but you do not seem to know or care. This sort of ethical disregard is disturbing.