Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for?

Right now, I'm thankful for ritalin and flash drives. My computer decided to die a slow death today, but I was able to save my notes from the semester just in time. I'm also thankful that Wal-Mart was open on Thanksgiving so I could go buy another flash drive (I left my other ones in T-town) and snatch my notes from my computer's last moments alive.

The exam gods might hate me, but at least Wal-Mart loves me. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

JFK's Address to the Houston Ministerial Association

I'm writing a paper for Law and Religion on JFK's address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association. In it, he addresses the fact that he's Catholic and how that affects his political views and his vision for America. I particularly like this paragraph:
I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.

The bold portion up there is the most controversial, I think. How do you reconcile decisions made to lead a fundamentally secular country when you're viewing the situation through the lens of religion? The Catholic church teaches that the Pope is the head of the church (correct me if I'm wrong here. I'm not Catholic, but this is my perception). If you refuse to follow direction by the Pope, you're saying that you don't believe a fundamental rule of the Church. If you don't believe and follow a fundamental rule of the Church, are you still Catholic?

That part of JFK's speech did much to calm voters facing the option of voting for a Catholic president, but unless I'm missing something huge, I don't see how it can be reconciled with Catholicism as a set of beliefs.

Another question this brings up: Protestants often speak in terms of God talking directly to them. For example, "I feel that God has lead me to do this."

Would a Protestant presidential candidate actually say, in a campaign speech, that he believes in an America where a church, church elders (or God) would not tell the President how to act?

ADDED: This is the paragraph right after the one above:

I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials, and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Be Professional

A friend of mine changed my world the other day when he mentioned Mike Tyson's crazy quotes. Among my favorites:

  • [To a female reporter]: I normally don't do interviews with women unless I fornicate with them. So you shouldn't talk anymore... Unless you want to, you know.
  • Lennox Lewis, I'm coming for you man. My style is impetuous. My defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart. I want to eat his children. Praise be to Allah!
  • You know what I mean. I may like to fornicate more than other people -- it's just who I am. I sacrifice so much of my life, can I at least get laid? I mean, I been robbed of my most of my money, can I at least get [oral sex] without the people wanting to harass me and wanting to throw me in jail?
  • My main objective is to be professional but to kill him.

I hope one day I can give interviews as memorably as Mike Tyson.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Give 'em Hell, Alabama!

Or a shotgun blast to the chest: Football Dispute Leaves 2 Dead. [AL Press-Register].

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"What a slap in the face to ignorance and closed-mindedness."

When I was in middle school, I had a teacher who we called Mrs. I. She was my favorite teacher. Mrs. I had three sons who were older than me, one of whose name is Steve. Steve is now in his older 20's and is teaching in that same middle school.

Mrs. I and my mom are still friends, and Mrs. I forwarded my mom this email that Steve wrote this morning about the election:

I am indeed very happy. I think this is more than anything a victory over fear. The fear the Republican party propagates about "liberals" and socialism and terrorism, as well as the idiotic fear that comes from racism. It's exciting, to say the least. What a slap in the face to ignorance and closed-mindedness.

I had a last minute crisis about which candidate I was going to vote for president. I've been a McCain fan for a long time, but the characteristics I liked about him the most seemed to disappear during the election. When he became a presidential candidate and got past the primaries, he became more of a cookie cutter Republican.

So I voted for a Democrat for the first time in my life. Yes, Senator Obama is very young and no, he doesn't have as much experience as we'd like. But maybe those things are good qualities. Lord knows we needed something different, and we got it. We'll see how he turns out as our country's leader.