Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
In the past, I have shared several dialogues between me and my son.
But today, I will share a dialogue between me and my five year old daughter.
My five year old attends the same day care that my son once did. The facility is quite good with the exception (in my view) that they will try to indoctrinate your child. After all, the daycare facility is run by a mega-church. What can one expect?
Now my daughter is finally starting to ask the tough questions about God. This day surly came faster than I thought.
While riding down the highway my daughter asks out of the blue:
“Daddy, is Heaven in the sky?”
“No sweetie. Heaven isn't up there in the sky. We've sent astronauts into space, we fly planes in the air all the time, and we have satellites floating around way up there in space. No one has bumped into Heaven up there. Pass the sky and you end up among the moon and stars. So between the ground and space where the sky is, we haven't found Heaven.”
I could have told her that Heaven was the sky. But I think the heart of her question was really, “Is God's home up there in the sky?”
Whether you're a theist or not, can you honestly say that God is sitting up there somewhere in the sky?
Anyhow . . .
My daughter thought about my answer for a moment. Then she asked,
“Well, what are all those clouds in the sky for?”
I guess she was wondering why clouds needed to float majestically in the Heavens above if Heaven isn't really “up there”.
“They aren't really for anything, exactly." I said. "The clouds are in the sky because water turns into a gas when it gets hot.”
“A gas?” She seemed to know what “gas” was, but was caught off guard with the idea that water could exist as a “gas”.
Time to introduce the fact that matter can exist in several phases.
“Yeah . . . you know what an ice cube is, right?”
“Yeah, but I don't like ice cubes. They hurt my hands and lips and I can't crunch them with my teeth. They hurt because they are so cold.”
“Right. Well, when water is really, really cold it turns into something like a rock. It becomes solid. When water is not so cold, we see it the usual way-- as a liquid.
“Daddy . . . what's a liquid?”
“Anything that is “wet” like water is a liquid. The juice you love to drink all the time is liquid like water.”
I paused for a moment, then continued.
“And if water gets hot, it turns to gas and floats into the air. As the gas keeps going up and up, it starts to cool again and forms the clouds you see. When a cloud gets too big and can't hold any more water, it releases that water to the ground. You know that that's called?”
Then my daughter says, “I know that when I drink too much water, I have to pee. Just like the clouds when they hold too much water and start to rain!”
Hey . . . she came up with that one all on her own. That "pee" thing wasn't my idea.
Then she asked why she couldn't hold her pee forever. You know, it's such an inconvenience to stop playing just to go pee, after all.
So my son and I started to explain the purpose of a bladder.
And then that question turned into another conversation all together.
Notice that I did not tell my daughter that Heaven did not exist. I only told her the truth about the sky. We have not found Heaven up there and the clouds come from a cycle of evaporation and condensation. Have you heard any reports of Heaven being found in the sky?
This is no different than what I did with my son. I simply gave him facts and tried to encourage him to think for himself. I'm now doing this for my daughter.
No crime or criticism can be found in that.
By the way, below is an interesting graphic of "the Heavens" as depicted by the website Our Amazing Planet.
[Source: Telescopes for Beginners for OurAmazingPlanet.com]
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Xerxes: It is not the lash they fear. It is my divine power. But I am a generous god. I can make you rich beyond all measure. I will make you warlord of all Greece. You will carry my battle standard to the heart of Europa. Your Athenian rivals will kneel at your feet if you will but kneel at mine.
Leonidas: You are generous as you are divine, O King of Kings. Such an offer only a madman would refuse. But the, uh, the idea of kneeling, it's... You see, slaughtering all those men of yours has, uh, well, it's left a nasty cramp in my leg, so kneeling will be hard for me.
Xerxes (now, infuriated): There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories. Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned and every Greek historian and every scribe shall have their eyes put out and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta or Leonidas will be punishable by death. The world will never know you existed at all!
Leonidas: The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many and, before this battle is over, that even a god-king can bleed.
Friday, July 16, 2010
- If you need a little infidelity in your life, there's a god (or allah) for that.
- If you need to be vindictive, then there's a god for that.
- If you need to hate others that are different than you, there's a god for that.
- If you need to feel accepted even though the scripture text of your religion calls your lifestyle an abomination, there's a god for that.
- If you need altruism to exist in the universe, there's a god for that.
- If you need to start up an inquisition, there's a god for that.
- Need to burn some crosses in somebody's yard? There's a god for that.
- Do you need god to be "she" rather than "he"? There's a goddess for that!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
-- John Adams
Our nation absolved allegiance from the British Crown in order to rule itself on July 4th, 1776 by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
This event makes every Fourth of July special. Each Fourth of July marks one more year that this nation has remained free. And today, we've reached 234 years now.
Let us all contemplate how wonderful liberty is. Let us all appreciate our freedom by learning about where it came from in the first place.
Let us be grateful for all servicemen and servicewomen who sacrifice and join our all-volunteer military so that our freedom is protected.
Be grateful for the democratic process and our elected officials who participate in this great political experiment. And be grateful for our justice system. Even with the flaws and frustrations of our legal system, we could be worse off.
And be grateful that we can complain to our elected officials and even poke fun at them when it suits us, because we have freedom of speech and expression.
And, thank your God, should you believe in him (or her) -- exercise your freedom of religious expression.
And if you are a non-believer, breath in the fresh air of freedom because you may exercise your freedom of personal expression and freedom of any sort of religious oppression.
Think of how ancient Greece and Rome once stood as beacons of light to the rest of civilization. Then consider how these empires fell and plunged the world into the Dark Ages. Consider the events which characterized the Dark Ages, then think on the Age of Enlightenment and how it emerged from that period of darkness. Consider how great minds, great discoveries, and great words of expression re-kindled the flame that illuminated the dark world once again.
Know that liberty is the cornerstone of enlightenment; Liberty enlightens the world.
Think on the original name of our great Statue of Liberty. Consider how it was a gift from the French who helped us during our Revolution. Then take time to contemplate the French's role in the Enlightenment era. And take time to think about how a French sculptor took symbols from the best of world civilization and embodied them in our greatest monument of freedom -- a token given to our country to celebrate it's centennial birthday.
Celebrate this day. Eat some potato salad and barbecue. And if your vegan, eat some barbecue tofu in honor of this day.
If you had to work today, I hope you can still take time to celebrate. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your freedom -- even if you have to take a rain check and celebrate tomorrow.
Friday, July 2, 2010
- He hasn't eaten since he was 11 years old.
- He receives nutrition from a secretion in his pallet by the divine power of a deity.
- He never passes stool.
- He never passes urine.
- If Jani has any teeth left, they would probably be special teeth. And if he has no teeth, then the loss of his teeth raises questions in my opinion.
- One way or another, he receives nutrition. The source of his auto-generating nutrition should be verifiable.
- He cannot have symptoms of starvation since he is nourished somehow.
- He produces at least some waste.
- He will pass waste, eventually.
- He will sneak off into the jungle and eat some leaves off the trees or something. He'll stoop down at a nearby brook and slurp up some H2O when he thinks no one is watching.
- He won't have any verifiable signs of auto-generating his own nutrition