Archive for March, 2014

Feminism and Surrogacy

March 7, 2014

Why aren’t feminists screaming about surrogacy.  Here you have a woman who puts her life on the line, goes through intense physical and emotional experiences, and then is supposed to give up her baby and cut all ties to it.  Whatever she is paid is a pittance compared to what she has given.   If she doesn’t know what she will go through, then she is being used.  If she knows what she will go through, she has to be desperately in need of the money, and is still being used.  For a woman to do this, no matter the reason the adoptive parents give, is to allow oneself to be used and abused.  It is such a misuse of a female human being, I am just surprised the feminists aren’t marching in the streets opposing this.  Is it because it is in conflict with their higher priority view that gender doesn’t matter?  And genderless marriage requires the rental of wombs and the sale of babies, sperm and eggs.

Debate Rules

March 6, 2014

I’m not sure when it happened, and perhaps it was in the 90’s, that debate about issues descended into name calling of the worst sort.  When debating one’s political opponent, it became a fine art to thoroughly insult the person, attributing the most vile motives to the person and setting up straw men that weren’t anywhere in the other person’s argument.  How can we have civil debate in this country unless we learn the first rule–etiquette.  We can debate when we stick to ideas and defend ideas.  We can attack our opponent’s ideas, but the twin tricks of sophisticated, nasty name calling and falsifying what one’s opponent actually said, would so quickly get one thrown off a high school debate team, I can’t help but wonder what has happened.  And why is no one calling out politicians about this?  We have become a coarse culture in our communication

Provincialism in the United States

March 6, 2014

I remember growing up in the West.  Out there we thought Southerners were all racists, ignorant, uneducated, crude, bible thumping bigots.  We, of course, were the tolerant ones, and we were quite righteous about it.  Later in life I lived in the South.  I learned to love Southerners, their warm hearts, their generosity, their honesty, their faith and the fact that the races mingled far more than I had seen in the West.  I also learned that Southerners generally considered people in the West to be irreligious, untrustworthy people with loose morals, and loony ideas–especially in California.  Surprisingly, I found Southerners to be more prejudiced against people from other parts of the U.S. than against people of other races.  A generation later, I returned to the West and found people out there calling Southerners bible thumping, right wing extremist, ignorant racist bigots.  And they are quite proud of their own tolerance.  I have heard it said we are all blind to our own prejudices.  The sad part is most of these people have never visited the regions in question long enough to get to know the people.

Beauty is an Awareness of God

March 6, 2014

I love to look at pictures and videos of beautiful places.  I find on the one hand it relaxes me.  It also creates in me a longing that is almost a sadness, something that can bring me to tears.  Its not just that I wish I could visit the place.  Its a longing for a beautiful place that I can call home.  I do love my home, but I sense an impermanence about it.  I think the longing I feel for the beautiful place is tied up with longing for God, for perfection, for perhaps another time and another place where things are more than they are here.  Beyond that, I am perplexed by it.  C.S. Lewis says our longing for a perfect home or family (and he knew what it was to long for family) really comes from our being made for another place.  Our hearts long for the fulfillment of what we were destined to be, to have and to do.  Or as Augustine said “You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts find no rest until they rest in Thee.”

There is a God

March 6, 2014

I have heard probably 90% of the philosophical arguments for and against the idea of God.  I believe God, but not because of any philosophical arguments.  I have thoroughly studied the accounts of Jesus and His followers.  I have studied these accounts for their historical accuracy and find they are equal to or more reliable that any other history from that era, or even more recent eras.  The accounts of Jesus life and that of His followers contain so many miraculous events that nothing can explain them except God was in these things.  I also look at some particularly majestic or beautiful place in nature, and I just know God made that.  Evolution just can’t explain the culmination of all the things that had to happen together.  It takes more blind faith to believe it all happened by chance than to accept that God made it.  Then there is answered prayer.  When I have called out to God, He has answered me.  The ways are unique and personal.  Things happen that cannot be explained.  Coincidences that have a personal mark, meaningful to me, just happen when I pray.  

I personally think that disbelief in God comes from wanting autonomy.  Unbelievers don’t want to admit they do not wish to be subject to anyone, not even God.  They want to be free to set their own standards of right and wrong based upon their own personal value system.  Of course, if one believes they are in charge of their lives, they have no hope of help or of life beyond this realm.  It is truly a high cost for autonomy.  

Common Core or Common Curriculum

March 6, 2014

I have read a lot of arguments pro and con concerning the Common Core standards which the Dept of Education would like all the states to adopt.  One concern I have yet to hear is the biggest concern I have.  Common Core Standards, Standardized Testing and the like are one issue.  Common Curriculum is another.  There appears to be a nationwide Common Curriculum as part of this promotion.  A couple of textbook companies are involved in selling books which meet the curriculum standards, and if all 50 states adopted this program, we would have a whole nation who viewed history, geography, sociology, and government from an identical point of view–that of the textbook writers.  This may not be the planned outcome, but it certainly sets up the possibility that a powerful administration on either the right or the left could inject indoctrination into this system rather easily.  Getting the system set up is the hard part.  Changing or adding to the curriculum is easier.  One nation which had a nationwide standard curriculum was Hitler’s Germany.  Germany was a federal republic at the beginning of Hitler’s administration.  He took over the school curriculum by executive order.  A national curriculum was established and control of education was wrested from the states and given to the national government.  Immediately children became indoctrinated into Nazi “new thinking.”  This is all documented in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which I think should be required reading for High School students.).  When looking at the countries of Europe, whom we propose to follow, it is found that while national standards of testing and national educational objectives exist, the curriculum is still managed by the states or provinces.  This is especially true in Germany.

Indoctrination aside, if students are all regurgitating the same material in order to pass exams, where will we find such things as inquiry, debate of ideas, critical thinking, creativity and other such skills necessary for a free and democratic nation?