Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful

It's freezing ass cold and it seems that we basically didn't have an autumn this year.

We stayed warm until the second week of November (for only the second time in since records have been kept we were over 70 degrees on each of the first 7 days of November), but then after that, it got cold and got cold fast. Since that time, we basically haven't been above 50, and we've had nights down into the teens and days in the 20's. We've also already had several periods of snow, and had sleet today for about an hour. Summer lasted two months longer than normal, and winter started two months earlier than normal, and there was no autumn. It's really odd, and if I understand the science correctly, we have global warming to thank for it.

Don't worry, this isn't a liberal diatribe on global warming.

I'm finally getting some rest and relaxation after working almost nonstop from the end of August to the beginning of December. During the 70 days from September 26 to December 5, I had exactly 7 days off, and three of those were during Thanksgiving. If I only count up to Thanksgiving, I had exactly 4 days off over the span of about 59 days. I had one stint where I worked 34 straight days, I think. This was basically due to a combination of part-time work, 3-day a week clincial rotations, and 1-day a week in class. Needless to say, there were plenty of days where some of those responsibilities overlapped, too.

My last final was on Monday, and I am not scheduled to work again until Saturday, so today is my third day completely off, and I still have tomorrow. It's been nice to stay up late, sleep late, nap throughout the day, and basically just be a complete and total lazy slob. I have done housework every day though (well, not today, actually).

I have also - as you may have noticed - been using a lot of my free time to write. I've been so busy for the last few months that I haven't been able to blog nearly as often. That's why I wrote two essays, and posted both of them, yesterday, and am now writing again. I've also been tearing up the threads on the Rush messageboard with religious discussions about everything from the death penalty to putting religious displays on government property.

I used to not really have a problem with religious displays on government property, but I am becoming convinced that it causes such a circus, and such strife every year, that it would just be better if it didn't happen at all. Sort of like the whole: "If you can't play together nicely, then just sit down and be quiet."

I'm not so PC that I have a problem with Merry Christmas or a nativity scene, but I do have to question the motivation that causes church groups, or individuals, to want to set up religious displays at a courthouse or other government building. Why isn't enough to put them in your own home, your own front yard, non-government public areas like malls and restaurants, your holiday cards, your church, etc.? Why the overwhelming need compelling you to erect a nativity scene in front of a courthouse? The only answer I can come up with is that it is done by people who are trying to blur the line between church and state. No other motivation makes any sense.

And the circus that results when that happens (15 million different religious displays, an atheist plaque attacking religion, and then tons of arguments over who is right and who is wrong) - all that is caused by those groups that feel this strange need to put crosses and nativity scenes in front of a courthouse. If they'd just keep them in the places that are appropriate (such as every other place in America besides government property), then there would be no problem.

I think the issue that most people take with religious displays on government property is related to the separation of church and state, not the display itself.

Anyway. You may have noticed the new "subscribe" form at the top left of the page. Put your email address in there if you want to get emails whenever I add new content to my blog. I also apologize for the eyesore ads that you now see at the bottom of the page. I'm simply trying to see if I can't make a little revenue from this 400-hits-per-week website of mine.

I'm really not very good at this "random shit" blogging. My sister is an expert at it and does it really well. But I always feel like a balloon in the wind, with no direction. And these blog posts are always poorly written and unorganized and generally full of meaningless chatter, jumping from one topic to another like a Joe Crumpler sermon (sorry, vague reference there that only a handful of people are going to get).

Okay, I just sat here looking at the wall for about 30 seconds trying to think of what else to say. I reckon I passed the reasonable end of this blog post about four paragraphs ago.

So...happy mid-winter holiday/secular festival season to all!


Elissa said...

Well I like Random Blogs. And you do just fine!

So there!

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right, AGAIN! You have observed the culture/society we live in with a keen eye and a timely insight. The very groups that in our early history absolutely INSISTED on separation of Church and State understood clearly the need for that because THEY were the victims of religious persecution from the "STATES" they had left to come here. Who are we talking about? Virtually all the denominations that consider themselves Protestants, but particularly Baptists and other historically-related denominations. It was these groups who went to James Madison and the other "Men of the Enlightenment" and insisted that the Constitution enshrine the concept of the Separation of Church and State. It was for the express benefit of the CHURCH! It was for the express benefit of those who wanted the FREEDOM to WORSHIP as they please. It was those who believed strongly in "Freedom of Conscience" and no one illustrated this concept more than Roger Williams, the first Baptist preacher in America; the founder of Rhode Island and the First Baptist Church of Providence, RI.

How shocking then in the last 30 years to hear charletans and loud-mouthed "Baptist" preachers making comments such as Pat Robertson made: "There is no such thing as Separation of Church and State. It has never existed!" Why would this prominent Baptist Preacher from VIRGINIA, no less, make such a demonstrably dishonest statement if not to further his own political agenda?

When we think that Nativity Scenes and other directly "Christian" (quotes intentionally ironic)in governmental buildings, we MUST then allow absolutely every other possible religious symbology because it is a clear violation of the concept of freedom NOT TO.

Snowbrush said...

"But I always feel like a balloon in the wind, with no direction."

Me either. That's why I only write when I feel that I have something to say. Otherwise, why take up people's time?

I liked your posting about "Bush Does God."

Scott said...

Dad: Yeah, you're right about the reason why the founders of the U.S. were so concerned about separation of church and state. The Puritans - who are our ancestors - were escaping a theocracy. And by the time of the "Men of the Enlightenment," those people also recognized that not only was freedom of religion an important right, but freedom not to be governed by religion was also an important right. They were reacting to the theocracy that (even to this day, but much more so then) still existed in England.

Snowbrush: Thanks for reading and commenting. I checked out your blog and enjoyed your wit and perspective. I'll be reading more in the future, for sure!

Snowbrush said...

I think you made a good point about churches being content to display religious messages on their own property as opposed to government buildings. It's not like they don't own A LOT of property to do it on.

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