Monthly Archives: October 2008

Colosse County has a setup called “early voting”, designed to try to relieve pressure at the polls so that there aren’t 7-8 hour lines on election day. Basically, for ~2 weeks before the election, people are allowed to show up at any “early voting” location in the county (regardless of their normal voting precinct), present their voter ID, and the ballot for their registered precinct will come up for them. This allows people to vote on their lunch break, coming home from work, or anywhere else that fits their schedule.

Unfortunately, when the Colosse County Voters’ Registration Office screws up, it screws up royally. Supposedly there is a little-known “loophole” in Colosse law that states that if someone moves, but their voter registration isn’t moved with them, they can show up at the polls, sign a change-of-address form… and then vote (legally) on the old ballot despite not meeting the residency requirements. Unfortunately, whoever wrote the signage at the polling places did not know of this loophole, and put in very large letters dire warnings about trying to vote for a race in a location you do not currently live in.

The inept, incompetent CCVRO has not honored of any the change of addresses I have mailed them in the past five years and thus mailed my official voter registration card for this year to an address I used to live at five years ago, approximately 40 miles from my current home.

And so, when I went to vote today, I found that my right to vote in local elections had essentially been stolen by the incompetence of the CCRVO… and I have no legal recourse on the matter. I considered voting in the races specific to my old precinct, but I couldn’t (despite REALLY hating the guts of one of the congressional candidates) do that in good conscience; instead, I voted only in the races I was sure that (by my current residency) I was actually, legally and morally, allowed to vote in. Three libertarian votes, one Democrat vote and a vote for an unaligned county judge later… I was out, my vote essentially meaningless in everything except the judges’ race and the one Democrat vote.

And that is how the Colosse County Voter Registration Office stole from me my right to vote. My one bit of solace comes from the fact that my Democrat vote was a vote to fire (with reasonable hope of victory) the utterly incompetent CC Tax Assessor / Voter Registrar Peter Wageringdocket.

Three stories:

In high school, I had a friend named Cruz. In the course of our friendship, I had my faith in friendship rocked by my best friend attempting to steal a girl that I was kinda-sorta-but-not-really dating. If a friend would do that to you, what use was friendship? So I coined new phrases for the people that I used to call friends. Cruz was honestly hurt when I didn’t call him my friend. He stood by me, though, and eventually things returned to normal.

In college, my roommate Hubert stumbled upon some IM conversations where I told a story about something that he’d done and I had portrayed him in a pretty devastating light and implied in the email that I had a pretty negative opinion of him altogether and that me and some friends talked about him in this negative light with some frequency.

Last year, a friend of mine came across something that I had written to someone else about her. Not to mince words, it came across pretty much as a scathing rebuke of her very existence. It was merciless, unfair, and not without some exaggerations and inaccuracies. I felt genuinely bad about the whole situation. I had difficulty sleeping and had to take some long looks at myself in the mirror. The strange thing, though, was that I felt less guilty about what I’d said (save for the inaccuracies) but that I had expressed these thoughts in a way that they could get back to her. I felt bad not so much for having the opinion that I did, but rather for being so careless in how I expressed them and hurting her in the process.

I am one of those people that does talk negatively around some friends behind their back. It’s not one of my more flattering characteristics. I generally do so, however, within certain bounds. I have my own ethical system. On one hand, I believe in being diplomatic with people that you don’t like and not creating any more conflict than already exists in this world. I am not a person that believes that honesty is always the best policy when it comes to such things. On the other hand, I also believe that it’s wrong and an overall bad thing to poison people’s attitudes towards one another by talking about them behind their back. On the first hand, though, if I feel something strong enough I can’t keep it bottled up forever. I am an expressive person.

So I have created my own ethical system of do’s and don’ts. When I speak negatively about people that I would consider my friends or friendly acquaintances, I do so only if the person I am talking to falls into one of three basic categories: (1) They have no personal connection with the person that I am talking about. Their opinion of this person doesn’t matter and will not adversely affect the life of the person that I am talking about. (2) I know that the person feels the same way that I do about this person. I am not poisoning their opinion towards them. (3) The person I’m talking to may know the person that I am talking about, but the person I am talking to primarily knows them through me and I am the access point between them. If I think that they might start of a friendship independently of me, I will probably find another confidante.

In essence, a lot of it comes down to “Will the person find out that I am talking about them in such a manner?” This may sound extremely two-faced and that’s because it is. However, it follows the golden rule. If someone feels the need to tear me down, I’d rather they keep their thoughts to themselves rather than tell me to avoid being two-faced. I’d rather that anybody they tell is someone that doesn’t know me and won’t cause trouble in my life or absent that I would prefer that they be somebody that I have no shot and friendship or alliance with me because they are allied with somebody that apparently doesn’t like me. To me it’s about minimizing hurt while accepting that everyone has a right to their opinion and accepting their need to express it every once and again. Of course I don’t want anyone to have a negative opinion of me and in my selfish heart of hearts I would prefer that if they did they would tell absolutely nobody, but I recognize that’s not realistic and I account for it.

So let me get back to the third story. Her discovery lead to some extremely uncomfortable conversations between she and I. She was of course very hurt about the things that I’d said and unfortunately I couldn’t entirely take them back because I’d obviously expressed them pretty freely. What was interesting about her reaction, though, was that in addition to just being personally hurt and angry, she was angry because I said what I said while pretending to be her friend.

And I did act as her friend. When I found out that she was stuck on the side of the road, I stopped and kept her company until her boyfriend could get there. When I got the sense that she was really upset about something, I’d pull her aside and ask what the matter was and offer any words of encouragement or consolation that I could. That was, in her mind, pure fakery and a something of a lie. Why would I pretend to be her friend when I had such a nasty perception of her? She could understand being cordial because she was dating my good friend, but why lie?

The truth is that in my mind I wasn’t pretending. I was her friend and she mine. This friendship had little or nothing to whether I liked her or not. Sounds strange when you put it that way, but that was how I felt and how I feel. Friendship, in my mind, is something that you do rather than something that you feel. Part of me carried on because I was hoping that my opinion about her would change (and it had started to somewhat, but not enough). But mostly I considered us friends because that’s how we behaved (for whatever reason).

Most of the time we are friends with people that we like. We choose to spend time with people whose company that we enjoy. Sometimes, though, friendship is borne for other reasons. In her case it was because she was dating my friend. When I was a kid I had a friend that I was friends with because her mother and my mother were tight. We weren’t just acquaintances. In some people’s mind we weren’t friends, either, but in my mind we were. And to be honest, in most of the social circles I’ve run, there have been some friends that I didn’t actually like very much. Sometimes because I didn’t let my dislike for them hinder the friendship, I actually came to like them. Sometimes I didn’t and when circumstances no longer required it, I shuffled away as quick as I could.

It may make more sense to you if you think about it in the inverse. You ever know somebody that you really like but you can’t be friends with? I knew one guy when I was working at Falstaff in Deseret. His name was Teddy Forbes. I liked Teddy a lot. He was the kind of guy that I could have hung out with all the time. Unfortunately, the context in which I knew him meant that he and I would constantly be at one another’s throats. I liked him well enough, but he was forever my adversary and I ultimately wished him ill in an impersonal way. A less specific example would be when a romantic breakup occurs, you lose friends that you like because you all get divvied up. A girl break’s a good friend’s heart, she’s dead to me no matter how much I liked her.

Friendship is, as I would define it, being woken up at three in the morning and having to scotch off to the county jailhouse to bail your friend out of jail and to do so without articulating the belief that they “owe” you. I would have done that with Hubert, Cruz, and the friend that I had said some pretty awful things about. I believe that all three would have done the same for me. I would have bailed Teddy out, too, but he would have owed me big time and I would have made sure to collect. When it comes to acquaintances you keep score. You don’t when it comes to friends.

I could mince words and say that she was an acquaintance and that’s what she initially said she would have preferred in light of some of my thoughts about her. Impressively, though, she actually came to understand what it was I was saying. In her circumstances, I probably would have been too hurt to. As the dust settled said that she too would have bailed me out at three in the morning and I learned that I had rather underestimated her.

Category: Coffeehouse

There has been some concern in the McCain camp that Obama is going to pull off a victory in the generally-Republican state of North Carolina. Well, according to the latest poll, it looks like McCain is ahead in that state.

Unfortunately for him, the same poll has him losing Texas, Idaho, and Utah.

Meanwhile, McCain took a hit in Iowa:

Gunman Kills 15 Potential Voters In Crucial Swing State

PostScript: This post is meant to be light-hearted and humorous and not a segue into antagonistic political commentary directed at either side (or the allies, real or supposed, of either side)

Category: Theater

Clancy and I came from remarkably similar backgrounds. We’re both the children of upper-middle class professionals with advanced degrees in the same field. School was considered important for both of us as we were coming up and stated expectations were that we would graduate college and eventually settle down in a professional career. We both went to church on Sunday and kept close ties with one side of our family but not so much the other. And perhaps most importantly, we were raised with similar values. I think it’s because of these similarities that our differences stand out so starkly.

One of our big differences, both in the way that we were raised and in the way that we see the world, involves entertainment. I was raised on television. I watched obscene amounts of it. I wish I could have back the amount of time I spent watching an episode of Matlock for the 15th time. I wish I had spent more time writing and drawing and going out (as I got older). When Clancy and I have kids, I’m not going to let them watch as much television as I watched growing up. I didn’t spend nearly as much time as my peers playing video games mostly because my parents wouldn’t get me a Nintendo because my grades were so bad. But boy did I want one and for the longest time their refusal to budge on that issue was one of the biggest chips on my shoulder.

Clancy, on the other hand, got very little television growing up. She spent lots and lots of time reading. Television was something that her father mostly watched. Notably, when her father watched it, he was not amenable to being interrupted at all. As such, Clancy grew up with something of a negative view of television in part because of that alone. More broadly, though, she views television, comic books, and video games were considered by her to be suspect. She considered reading to be inherently superior to all of these things and to some extent time spent consuming any of the above was time wasted that would be better spent doing something better. Though I can agree that I wasted a lot of time watching television, where I primarily took issue with her was the notion that those things should in and of themselves be considered at best a “guilty pleasure”.

Television in particular is something that I’m remarkably defensive about. Just as part of Clancy’s animus towards TV can be traced back to the way that it sucked her father’s attention away from her when she was young, I suppose some of my defensiveness can be chalked up to the fact that television made me who I am and to repudiate it completely is to repudiate who I am. It may not mean that I am something bad, but at the very least it means that I am something less than what I could be. On some level this is undoubtedly true just as 100,000 things I did when I was younger was ultimately non-productive, but I don’t think that it’s nearly as true as a lot of medical doctors and cultural critics say it is.

The place that most cultural critics point to are medical studies linking television to obesity among other things. While it’s true that if you sit around and do nothing but watch television all day like I did, you’ll likely get fat like I did, the cause-effect relationship is not as clear as the people that point to the studies suggest. Though I exclude my parents from this category, it is undeniably true that the same sorts of parents that don’t monitor the TV habits of their young ones also don’t monitor their caloric intake. Parents that are not around enough to keep tabs on kids’ TV habits similarly don’t have time to cook healthy meals and are more likely to rely on unhealthy alternatives. Parents that don’t know how damaging excessive TV watching might be also don’t fully appreciate how bad for them much of the food they eat really is.

The biggest problem I have with critics of television is that for the most part they consider television a thing. I think that further they often equate television with the least intellectually nutritious brand of it. Most of my personal problem with the television that I watched when I was younger actually had less to do with sheer volume and more to do with what I watched and how I watched the same things over and over again. Granted, there weren’t the kinds of options then that there are now, so it’s possible that if I hadn’t rewatched Gilligan’s Island there wouldn’t have been anything for me to watch and that time would have been better doing just about anything else. Be that as it may, the same isn’t entirely true today.

I could go on and on about how much I actually learned from television growing up and how it’s influenced my life in positive ways. I could speculate that reading would have done the same only better, but that wouldn’t be much more than speculation. I can also grant that the effort of reading makes it unlikely that you’ll waste time reading crap whereas the comparative ease of television makes it easy to be indiscriminate, but I consider that a challenge to be overcome rather than an example of one’s innate superiority over the other.

To go back to the beginning for a moment, I think that it’s true that people watch too much television and in particular watch too much crap on television. I believe muchly that I did the same. What I reject is the notion that television is inherently bad or that cases when it isn’t bad are some shocking exception to the rule. I also reject the notion that television is inherently inferior to reading in all but the most asymmetrical circumstances. I believe that television actually has some rock-hard advantages over reading just as reading has advantages over television. I also believe that video games, a “guilty pleasure” I rarely partake in, have advantages over both television and reading.

So what are these TV advantages? That is for another post…

Category: Coffeehouse, Theater

Do any of y’all have access to free email accounts that aren’t free? By which I mean someone that you have a business relationship with (you buy email, domain hosting, web hosting, or Internet connectivity from them… so long as you are a paying customer) and they give you more email addresses than you can possibly use?

If so, could you spare me an email address?

I don’t need a large email box or anything like that. Just an address and the ability to forward.

Addendum: To expound a bit, this isn’t an email that I would be giving outfar and wide or anything like that. If you ever needed to reclaim it because you’re out of addresses, it wouldn’t cause me any great inconvenience. It’s half-tool, half-experiment.

Category: Server Room

I don’t know about you, but for the past year and a half or so I’ve been experiencing problems with YouTube and similar video suppliers. Actually, it’s a problem with Adobe Flash. It’ll play for about two seconds and then stop. No matter how many times you reload the image, it keeps happening. Even if you try to open up different videos. The only thing that fixes it is restarting the browser. Happened on all of my computers, so I knew it wasn’t an installation or hardware issue.

It was one of those pandrip things that I worked around for the longest time and just tolerated up until recently when for reasons I won’t get into I couldn’t just close and re-open my browser. Then I figured that there must be someone out there experiencing the same problem. Turns out a lot of people are. A whole lot of people. It seems that Adobe has been letting this crap go on for an absurdly long time. I looked at one solution after another trying to figure out how it could be fixed but it seemed that everyone conquered it a different way and then many reported that the problem returned anyway. Eventually I determined that it had something to do with Version 9 of the software. The problem is that if I tried to install v8 it wouldn’t let me. Holy cow was I greatly angered by this development.

So my only choice was to go up to Version 10 Beta. I don’t like Beta testing when I’m not being paid for it, so I resisted. Finally, after a couple days I said to myself “What’s the worst that could happen? It won’t work right? It doesn’t work right now and it hasn’t worked right in so long that I can’t remember when it did.”

So long story short, I upgraded to v10 and have had no problems either with the freezing or anything else. So if you’re experiencing that problem, I recommend an upgrade to 10.

Category: Server Room

I would totally be getting a drivers license and birth certificate and college degree under my Hit Coffee name and alma mater. I suppose it’d be a bit tough getting one for Cascadia, Estacado, Deseret, or Delosa, though…

Category: Server Room

MSN offers up a “10 things” list – they erroneously tagged a “10 Commandments” list on the link I found it at – on “how to lose weight.”

It’s an interesting collection of “conventional wisdom”, some of which are correct and some of which aren’t.

  • 1. Eat your meals on a regular schedule.
    This is a pretty good one – people are creatures of habit, after all. Get used to eating at certain times, and it’s easier to pace yourself.

  • 2. Choose low-fat foods.
    Contrary to popular belief, the “low fat/high fat” bit doesn’t help much. Many, many so-called “low-fat” foods are pumped incredibly full of sugar (or eviler, nastier substances) and have higher caloric content than the standard versions. In fact, I regularly see boxed candy (literally raw sugar with a small amount of flavorings) advertise itself as either “low-fat” or “no-fat.”

  • 3. Wear a pedometer and walk 10,000 steps a day.
    Not a bad thought. A pedometer may look a bit dorky, but it’ll give you a good idea of what you’re doing. More important, however, is figuring out ways to fix your daily routine to work in motion and get up off your butt. Office jobs are a real killer on the metabolism; I’d love to see more workplaces offer the option to create stand-up offices (kind of like this idea), and next time my workplace does a re-furniture, it’ll be something I bring up. For those with leg problems that require some support under them, I’d suggest higher chairs (say, like this or this); the added bonus is better posture and less back pain problems, since it gets you closer to proper spinal alignment. The extra-extra bonus is that a nearer-standing posture also keeps your heart rate up and makes you more alert at your job.

  • 4. Pack healthy snacks.
    Always a good one. Try to go for hand fruits if you can. “Healthy” granola bars and things like that are fine, too, but a lot of the prepackaged stuff is (again) stuffed extra-full of needless sugars.

  • 5. Check the fat and sugar content on food labels.
    Rationing is fine, if you can manage it. Unfortunately, most people see things in “units” different from what’s listed. A standard package of Ramen Noodles, for example, is actually two “servings” while I’ve never known anyone to manage to eat only half the package. Likewise for canned soups and most other things – even those “healthy” snack bars (see above) sometimes list one bar as two servings.

    If you really want to change? Buy smaller glasses, smaller plates, and smaller bowls to retrain your eye on what a “serving” really means.

  • 6. Portion wisely and skip seconds (except vegetables).
    Again, you’re going to need to invest in a number of tupperware containers to really follow this one. The secondary problem is in training yourself to get the veggies to be primary in the meal; multi-course meals (eat the veggies, THEN a serving of meat) can help this more than “abolishing seconds.” The other trick within this is to make sure your veggies are actually healthy; the most common ingredient of most salads (iceberg lettuce) has next-to-no vitamin content and has about the same impact on your digestive system as drinking a glass of water. Try to go for healthier veggies and you’ll be better off.

  • 7. Stand for 10 minutes every hour.
    They’re underdoing it. The real goal should be “stand as much as possible.”

  • 8.
      Avoid sugary drinks.

    This is a huge one – probably the best of all the advice they’ve given. It’s no secret that you can chart the expanding waistline of America by the impact of two major changes; the rise in consumption of soft drinks (coke, pepsi, etc) and the rise of high-fructose corn syrup’s replacement of cane sugar as the primary sweetener. Why is this? Because HFCS is just plain nasty stuff. To create the same level of sweetness, more HFCS must be used than cane sugar; HFCS also carries a certain amount of (non-sweet) starch that the body ALSO uses for calories. And to top it off, the “average” size of a soft drink is up from the original 6-oz portion to vending machines now pushing (primarily) a 20-oz size and fast-food places pushing 32-oz or bigger “cups” (jugs, really) as a “serving” with a meal. Enough is enough.

  • 9. Turn off the television while you eat.
    If you’re having dinner with your family, that’s a good thought. If you’re not, I’m not sure what they are basing this on.

  • 10. Eat at least five servings of fruits and veggies daily.
    See above re: figuring out what a “serving” means. Seriously, guys.

    Ah, for the days when Home Economics (and Civics) were required courses before we let people out of high school… a simple understanding of basic cooking principles would save so much desperation on our parts trying to get kids (and later adults) eating in a healthier manner. Heck, showing them raw HFCS pouring onto something would probably be enough to get them questioning whether they really wanted to put it in their bodies.

  • Category: Elsewhere, Kitchen

    Newsweek has an interesting piece on how it’s junk mail that is keeping the United States Post Office afloat:

    Earlier this year Plimpton became tired of the credit-card offers, catalogs and advertising fliers that clogged her mailbox. So in February she paid $20 to GreenDimes, a firm that helps consumers reduce their inflow of “junk mail” by contacting businesses on their behalf. “[Junk mailers] are cutting down trees willy-nilly, and that has got to stop,” says Plimpton.

    To the post office, consumers like her are a serious threat. “Efforts to convince people not to receive mail are really going to hurt,” says Steve Kearney, a Postal Service senior vice president.

    The Postal Service lost $1.1 billion in its latest quarter. That number would be even larger if it weren’t for direct mailings, which now constitute 52 percent of mail volume, up from 38 percent in 1990. Revenue from direct mail “is the financial underpinning of the Postal Service—it could not survive without it,” says MichaelCoughlin, former deputy postmaster.

    I wondered if after the whole “Do Not Call” thing they’d start a “Do Not Mail”.

    I haven’t had a problem with junk mail in years. Sure, I get it, but only a little bit here and a little bit there. There’s only been one time in my life when it got pretty bad. It was back when my ex-roommate Karl and I moved into an apartment complex in a relatively nice part of Colosse near The Mall of the Gulf. The apartment complex had a lot of young and childless professionals and I think that we must have fit some sort of target demographic because it was amazing the sheer volume of stuff that we got. It became a real hassle because if I forgot to check my slot for a day or two, the box would get full and I wouldn’t get the mail items I need cause the box was stuffed with stuff that I didn’t.

    On the whole, though, I just don’t consider junk mail nearly as much a hazard or an irritant as I do telephone solicitors, spammers, or back in Estacado door-to-door people. Telephone solicitors and door-to-door folks invade your life when you’re trying to do something else while when it comes to getting your mail you get some choice over that. Sending out mail is also (I think) a little more expensive telephone solicitation and a lot more expensive to the sender than spam. That means that it becomes expensive for them to just blanket everywhere with all their advertisements and so they have to do things like limit themselves to places where their product might be useful or where the demographics of an area are full of people such as young professionals without children.

    There is an environmental cost, though, as the article points out. I’m not a particularly big environmentalist, but in this vein junk mail is harmful in a way that spam isn’t (unless the energy costs outweigh the lost paper?). I am a pretty big fan of the mail system, though, and a selfish little part of me says “I don’t care if people in posh neighborhoods can’t get their mail and South America is being deforested, I don’t wanna pay 50c or more for a stamp!”

    Category: Market

    An Arkansas court has sort of declared that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not qualify as a “protestant” faith. The case in particular comes down to an agreement in the divorce that the children should be raised within the protestant faith. When the father started advocating the LDS Church, the mother took him to court. The court found that the contract was valid and enforceable and it was applicable to this case.

    The latter part of the ruling isn’t hugely controversial since the LDS Church itself does not consider itself protestant. It does complicate the notion that Christianity primarily divides into two camps, Catholic and Protestant. Some would argue that the distinction still exists because Mormons (and any other groups) that don’t fall into one of those two categories aren’t actually Christian. Many of these people would use the LDS as an example of this. Others might use the Unity Church, which is vaguely Christian but becomes less so the more you scratch beneath the surface, or the Unitarian-Universalist Church, which used to be Christian but has become less so as time has rolled on. What makes the LDS different from the Uniteers and Unitarians, though, is that while the latter have beliefs that are somewhat vague, new-agey, and open-ended, the LDS is none of these things. Another example of a church of what some would call dubius Christianity but that nonetheless sees itself as Christian are Pentacostals, who are denied the right to call themselves Christians by some because they reject the concept of the Trinity but who are generally (moreso than LDS) considered Christian. Also along these lines are Christian Scientists.

    The court case itself needn’t have been decided on theological grounds. The question in the divorce settlement was not whether in the spiritual sense the LDS Church is theologically protestant but more whether the parents, when they signed the agreement, both believed that it was. Only if there was no consensus on the issue do you start asking questions of theology and church history. Since generally neither Mormons nor Protestants consider Mormons to be Protestants that’s an easier question to answer than it would be whether the agreement had said Christian rather than Protestant.

    Whether Mormons are in fact Christians is a subject of debate at least within the Christian community. By and large the answer is that they are not and Mormonism is a separate Abrahamic religion that shares much in common with Christianity (as Christianity does with Judaism) without actually being a part of it. On the other hand, Mormons project themselves as being Christian and publicly emphasize the similarities with the general Christian community rather than the differences. On the other hand, when I was in Deseret, the general view seemed to be that these were two different groups rather than being a part of a single community. On the other hand, you get the same sort of things in Catholic areas even though there isn’t much (some, but not much) debate that both fall under the Christian label.

    The question does naturally arise as to whether or not self-identification is (a) valid and (b) determinative. Can Mormons be Christians just by saying they are? I would say that they cannot. But they have more than just self-identification to go on. Jesus is a substantial figure in their teachings and the stuff that was added on in the end is positioned as a continuation Christ’s teachings and legacy. One may think that the uniquely Mormon beliefs of what came after Jesus and the Bible are false, but believing something that is incorrect does not get you kicked out of the Christian community in any helpful use of the term. Sure, a lot of denominations think that they are the only ones to get it right (comes with the territory!) and some that they are the only True Christianity and that the others preach False Christianity, but we’re still debating True and False Christianity and brands of Christianity rather than Christianity vs Something Else.

    Even using more than self-identification, though, a lot of dubious groups could get themselves under the Christian Tent by the methodology that the Mormons would use. Members of the Unification Church believe that their guy is merely a continuation of the Christian story (and the Muslim Story, and the Buddhist Story, and on and on). Even the Branch Davidians fall into this category.

    I don’t see any easy answers to these questions. The easiest answer may be that the courts should never be put in the position of having to decipher theology. I think that this is generally true. I’m not sure that I agree with the court’s ruling that the agreement was valid. It could be on the basis that one parent explaining his or her religion necessarily involves the other spending an eternity in Hell and that could cause trouble or maybe on the basis that it could simply be jarring to a child to hear alternating explanations of our existence and of the supernatural depending on what parent the kid is with.

    Maybe it’s because I was raised in the staid Episcopal Church and I was not raised to believe with absolute conviction everything that the Bible or our church leaders say, but I’m not entirely convinced that the children couldn’t process multiple explanations of our existence and whatnot. I’m inherently skeptical of religious systems that are fearful of people being taught alternative religious systems. Children alternating between churches until they can decide which one is right for them is not a thought that particularly troubles me. Naturally, I would be a little concerned that they might make the wrong choice, but I’m inherently uncomfortable with blocking them from coming to that conclusion by depriving them access to contradictory information. I guess this is why I am not a particularly good Believer even if I do believe in believing in God and I do not think that all religions are created equal in thought or in action.

    Category: Church