Thu, 01 Jun 2006 00:23:37 GMT

Monday, May 22, 2006

You know, I may have to change my sub-title, since I don;t really talk about those three things too much anymore. Helping run a small startup puts all three of those things in my face all the time, so it is actually easier, and more relaxing, to write about other things or to rant about politics. Big picture stuff, the lies that politicians make, the current war of a noun, all provide me with a little less stress than writing grants, lookiing for money, dealing with ‘fires’ that must be put out imediately. I’ll have to think about this. comment [commentCounter (3168)]11:13:20 AM


Judge Jones on the Founding Fathers [Dispatches from the Culture Wars].

The more I see from this guy, the more I like him. Over the weekend, he gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Dickinson College. I like much of what he had to say:

“The founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry,” said Jones, who was thrust into the national spotlight by last year’s court fight over the teaching of evolution in the Dover school district.

The founding fathers – from school namesake John Dickinson to Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson – were products of the Enlightenment, Jones said.

“They possessed a great confidence in an individual’s ability to understand the world and its most fundamental laws through the exercise of his or her reason,” he said.

“This core set of beliefs led the founders, who constantly engaged and questioned things, to secure their idea of religious freedom by barring any alliance between church and state.”

This fits very well with the notion that Jon Rowe and I have been advocating for a couple years now, that the leading lights among the founders (the first four presidents, plus Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine and a few others) were primarily “theistic rationalists”. All believed firmly in God, of course, but rejected most claims of revelation, believing that we could ascertain the truth about God and the universe through the use of our reason alone.

Read the comments on this post… By Ed Brayton [ScienceBlogs : Combined Feed]

I think several of our Founding Fathers would have a hard time in today’s political arena because of their religious beliefs. That is why I snicker anytime some rube tries to claim allegience of the Founding Fathers to whatever form of hellfire and damnation is the current thing. Most of those rubes would not be able to carry on any reasonable conversation regarding religion with Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson. comment [commentCounter (3167)]11:08:59 AM


pwn3d!!!. Jean Rohe:

In addition, you make many assumptions about who I am and what I stand for. You assume that the words shouted from the audience reflected at all times my opinions and values. You assume that I have made myself look like an idiot, which, I can tell you, is just not true. You assume I have taken no risks. I’m curious to see which doors have been permanently closed to me in the future, simply because I’ve spoken up. You assume that I did what I did simply to draw attention to myself for my own personal benefit. I have said in my writing, and I will say it again, I would never have asked for this responsibility in a million years. The entire event was stomach-churning and unpleasant because it was something I didn’t want to do, but knew I had to out of an obligation to my own values. You assume that I have no experience making a living. I have been a full-time college student and have worked a job to pay my own rent and my own expenses for the past two years. You assume that I live in an “echo chamber” of liberal head-patting, when, in fact, I live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, a neighborhood notorious for its cultural diversity and sometimes, conflict. I live in New York City where every human interaction is a test of our willingness to coexist as citizens. And finally, I think it is unfair to assume that I have not considered the hardships of Senator McCain’s life. Indeed, one of my first feelings upon seeing him in the flesh was compassion for how much he must have endured in his time as a POW. If there’s one thing that I know about myself, it is that I care for people, and in that sense I have a great deal of character. Please don’t try to bully me anymore.


A measured response to a hack job. If McCain and his surrogates had just let this alone, it would have disappeared from the news cycle. But they want to continue churning up the media over this. Red meat, I guess. comment [commentCounter (3166)]11:03:42 AM