Thursday, April 06, 2006 

This will clarify it

How Did Jesus Walk On Water?

Jesus did a lot of miracles. We don't know how he did them. Jesus is God, so he can do anything. Walking on the water was not Jesus' ordinary way of getting around. He did this miracle, like other miracles, to teach his disciples and to show them his power. Jesus is Lord of the laws or the universe - he's in charge of the water, too, so he can walk on it whenever he wants to.

Doesn't this just make you want to go back to Sunday school again?

 

Elvis certainly didn't mean that the Pope would wear his red shoes, somehow I missed the fact that Ratzinger wears red Prada shoes and other sundry, like Gucci sunglasses, that people have donated to him. Wow, doesn't this make him seem like a practical kind of guy, I mean, since you can't take it with you, right? As this anonymous article states:
Do you know how rude it would be for a man of the cloth, the highest authority in all of Christianity, to say, “no thank you, but it wouldn't look good [gifts] because there are so many starving people in the world”? The Pope is in no position to live simply. And thus, he wears these expensive items, which close to 99.9 percent of his
followers can not afford, to remind himself that rich people are God's children too.
So my burning question is, who the heck would donate expensive shoes to the pope? Are they trying to curry favors with their god, or to get better seats at Mass?

In other news, I recently received my copy of the End of Faith AND amphimacer emailed me a link to the Atheist Manifesto on the same day. Coincidence OR NOT??!! :)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

Thoughts on the Soul

marcguyver asks: "What do you think happens when you die and do we possess anything 'eternal' in our body, i.e. a soul? ... I am hoping and believing that this is not the end."

I mulled this question for a few days (then I disappeared into my busy life, sorry).

I grew up being told something very interesting. 'I am special because I have an eternal soul. I can look forward being reunited with loved ones and lasting forever in a very special place (as long as I eat my peas and do what I'm told).' Doesn't this, on the surface at least, seem like a lovely, positive thing that anyone would love?

In college, even though I had long left behind the Catholic church's dogma, I searched for the soul. I read widely, from Buddism to new agey stuff. Shouldn't there to be something to "a life after death" as it seems to be such a common theme across many cultures? Great question.

Part One: do you really want to live forever?

Would living forever really be such a good thing? Books such as Lord of the Rings and Interview with a Vampire do not make me look forward to joining some eternal place. These books are by two theists, Tolkien & Rice is famously a newly reconverted theist. stardust1954 pointed out Twain's Letters from the Earth, a hilarious non-theist take on the question.

But... if you love science fiction at all, try one of my favorites: Hyperion, but trust me on this, if you don't buy book #2 you will regret it. (It does contain some pretty explicit sex scenes, so I'm not sure you'll want to share it with a young teen.) Did I remember to tell you to get #2 if you do pick it up? You'll never wish Heaven on anyone after reading these two books.

I have more thoughts, on the mechanics of the soul, RSN.

Monday, April 03, 2006 

Spring must be bunny time

Does Britney Spears help influence the first time your child has sex? Reuters reports on a study in the current issue of Pediatrics "Sexy Media Matter: Exposure to Sexual Content in Music, Movies, Television, and Magazines Predicts Black and White Adolescents' Sexual Behavior", finding that more exposure to "sexy" media means earlier they are doin' it. An excerpt from the yahoo news story:

The teenage pregnancy rate in the United States is three to 10 times higher than that found in other industrialized nations, making that and exposure to sexually transmitted infections a major public health concern, the study said.

At the same time parents tend not to talk about sex with their children in a timely and comprehensive way, leaving a vacuum in which the media may become a powerful sex educator, providing "frequent and compelling portraits of sex as fun and risk free."

"Interestingly one of the strongest predictors of risk for early sexual intercourse for both black and white teens (in the study) was the perception that his or her peers were having sex," the report said.

I'm bringing up my children a "bit" differently from how I was brought up, and this is one huge difference. My dad to this day, my mother jokes, can't bring himself to face the fact that his older sister has ever had sex, much less his daughters.

Our kids are at risk due to religions peddling the sex is bad meme, and its backlash, our culture's obsession with strange teenage-boy fantasy worlds. How does one navigate the waters, with abstinence-only programs failing (unless you think gonorrhea of the throat is a good outcome), while girls are becoming fertile earlier every year?

But, instead of feeling like a unmoored boat bobbing in the waves when it comes to teaching my child about sex, there are good books such as Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex, but Were Afraid They'd Ask: The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens to guide the way. Another book I have is the Yellow Dyno book, which gave me the courage to start using the p-word (penis). I can now say it without blushing, a huge step away from my Catholic upbringing. If you can't even say the word, how do you give your children the skills they need to protect themselves against predators?

About me

  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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