Ardent defenders of the First Amendment and the Separation of Church and State


Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Am a Humanist

I am a Humanist.

Humanists reject the claim that there cannot be moral value without God.
Humanists deny that our moral sense was placed in us by God.
Humanists favor a naturalistic, evolutionary account of how morals and ethics have developed.
Humanists reject moral justifications rooted in religious authority and dogma.

We believe our ethics should be strongly informed by study of Sociology and human development, and of what will help them perpetuate our status in this world, rather than the next.

Humanists deny that that if our lives are to have meaning, it must be bestowed from above by God.

Humanists favor developing forms of moral education that emphasize personal responsibility based on the reason and logic that we have evolved.

Humanism is a view that reason and logic are far more rational for developing ethics than vague ancient myths.

For example, as a humanist I tried to show my five kids that it is important not to lie or steal because the community will identify you as dishonest and that will curtail your ability to become a valuable member of the society that we strive to perpetuate, rather than to teach them if they lie or steal some supernatural being will condemn them to hell.

Many humanists consider it cruel to instill a child with fear of eternal punishment

Humanists trust science and reason as invaluable tools to understand our nature and for each of us to determine our purpose in life.

As a humanist, I am a secularist but have no problem with my friends and family that hold spiritual positions and faiths. I do bristle when certain fringe elements work to have spiritual beliefs taught as science in public schools and/ or try to impose their belief systems upon me.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Holidays!

I don't give an actual rat's ass what beliefs people hold, but I do hope that most of us get a chance to have some nice times with family and friends this time of year.  After all, getting a couple days off work in itself is cause for celebration! The ending of another year and beginning of a new one always give me hope that the collective good will that is represented by "The Holidays" will carry over to some degree.

Since our kids are all out on their own there's been a couple times over the last few years that we didn't put up a tree. That wasn't well accepted by Mrs Froggie so I determined that we would have a tree this year.  The problem is that my son and I stashed our tree in the storage space above my shop with much effort.  We bought that sucker about six years ago and it is a deluxe model with the lights right on it.  That monstrosity weighs a ton, the box it is in is huge, and is no fun to put up. Granted, it is a beautiful tree and at any distance it looks real as shit; cost us over two hundred bucks. What to do, what to do?

So last week I was heading in to Walmart to pick up a prescription and lo and behold, right there in the middle of isle were trees, complete with lights, weighing in at about twenty pounds, in a compact container for thirty nine bucks.  "Perfect," I think so I bought the tree and hid it in the shop and on Friday while MF was away I set it up in the living room.  It took about  five minutes and the process was painless.

Not exactly like the picture on the box

I was pretty sure this was not going to be very well received.  And indeed, it was not, though over the next couple days I think it kinda grew on her.

"Once we get the decorations on her she'll be beautiful," said I.

And it came to pass that after the Steeler loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, my two little helpers, Beth and our friend Terri, set about doing their magic and we ended up with a damn fine tree!

My Little Helpers

So, all is well that ends well.  I love when a plan works out.  And they let me install my Peace Sign Tree Topper all by myself!

Mission Accomplished!

Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Jewish Phase

When I was in Jr. High we had Religious Ed on Wednesdays.

There were churches of all denominations within walking distance of the school and they would let us out at one o’clock and we’d return to catch the bus at three something.

The Catholic Church, where I went, was the farthest away and I hated walking there in the winter.
My friend Brad,  who sat beside me in the class from which we were dismissed , went to the synagogue that was right across the street from the school. So one cold blistery winter day when they let us out to go to our religious ed., I asked Brad if I could go to his church. He said “sure.” So, away we went.

We got inside and were greeted by Rabbi Schoenberg. I will never forget him as long as I live. Brad introduced us and when he heard my name I could see his eyebrows rise up and he got the funniest look on his face for a second. So, he slapped a beanie on my and Brad’s head and we went into a room where there were about five other kids.

I have never had so much fun in a religious setting. The good and bearded Rabbi regaled us with tales from the Old Testament and I was rapt at the way he related the stories. He treated the characters in the Old Testament as our close relatives, our heritage. I was enthralled!

I went back the next Wednesday, he slaps the beanie on me and he told us that we are all like little Israels; we make mistakes and pay the consequences, but we must move on and do well for our family and friends. I loved that message.

It was a few days later and my Father called me into his den. He was sitting behind that big desk of his, piled with books and stuff and he had set “the chair” beside the desk. I knew from previous experience when that leather wing back chair was arranged in that manner there was going to be some sort of serious discussion.

He motioned to the chair and I sat down. He said, “I hear you’re converting to Judaism.”
I said, “……where did you hear that?”
He burst out laughing. My Dad wasn’t a big laugher so when he did get a charge out of something it’d catch you by surprise. He had a dry and wily sense of humor so his laughing got me to laughing too.

He went on, “Rabbi Schoenberg and I have been friends for many years.” So…I got busted by the Rabbi.
Dad was in law enforcement and he had sponsored many programs for prisoners and such and the Rabbi had been involved in many of them over the years.

Actually, it came as no surprise that the Ol’ Man told me that he thought it a good thing that I took the initiative to check out other faiths. I took credit for that initiative since I didn’t want to admit that I only did it to get out of walking to our church in the nasty weather…………. 

It's Still Here!

So, I'm back *brushing cobwebs out of his hair* and this place hasn't changed much except I see that Blogger has some new fancy bells and whistles since the last time I made a post almost three and a half years ago.

For all that time I've been exercising my editorial prowess at a couple forums that I've enjoyed immensely, but it finally happened.  I didn't think it would happen on an internet forum, especially one with so many erudite and esteemed individuals, but being the hopeless introvert that I am, I hit that social wall- could not handle being in the thick of so many voices.  I don't regret the time I spent there one bit, and perhaps some of my cronies will stop by here and say hello, one on one. I even made a few personal friends over there with one from Austria staying here with us for a few days in the summer of  2010.

The scope of that forum was somewhat, but not totally, limited to bringing about awareness of fundamentalist religion's effect on education and American society in general, which has been one of my hot buttons for many years; but it caught up with me and frankly, a sense of fatigue set in and overtook me so I am stepping away to evaluate where I've been and what options are available for a semi retired old curmudgeon. I've changed a few other of my daily conditioned routines.  It's not like I don't have plenty of stuff to do with Mrs Froggie and the dog, and I've got a hundred hobbies, on paper, but something is pulling me- what, I'm not sure.  What I am sure of is that I had to make a change, just for me and spend some time in contemplation of the future.

I finally decided to hole up here for a while and write about whatever I want while not giving a single actual fuck if anyone reads me or not.  Maybe I'll even post a whole bunch of rules on the side bar that will allow me to trump up charges against those who disagree with me and ban the bastards; but probably not.  After all, free speech is very important to me for reasons that I might even write about if I get around to it; but probably not. 

Having said all that, which is pretty close to nothing at all, I'm not even sure what my next post will be, but there will be one, I'm pretty sure.  Maybe it could be a short history of vagueness.  We shall see!

Good Day!


PS  There was a glitch in the system so I had to delete this post and reload it.  Thanks to Chris for saying hello in the comments of the first post.