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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To hypocratize or not to hypocratize - that is the question...

I don't know if hypocratize is a word; I don't think it is. However, I am going to make it a verb and use it anyway.

Every once and awhile, I delve into the murky world of opinion letters in my local paper. While many that write there are probably to the right of Glen Beck and have posters of Ann Coulter on their walls at home, some are to the left of Dianne Feinstein and Howard Dean. As regular readers will know, I am definitely a man of faith - but I also like to think that I am a man of reason.

This morning, I couldn't help myself - I had to respond to a letter writer who lambasted the folks that gathered at the Pensacola courthouse downtown to pray and walk in support of Frank Lay and Robert Freeman. You can see the letter that prompted my response here - entitled, "Would they defend Muslim prayer?"

I wrote last Friday about the outcome of Lay and Freeman's trial, so I won't go into that again. But I thought Mr. Caine's opinion letter and my response (below) might make an interesting epilogue - although I'm sure the issue of prayer in schools and in the public square in general, will be news for the foreseeable future.

Call me intolerant if you think I'm intolerant - but don't call me a hypocrite if you mean to call me intolerant!

I enjoyed the dichotomy of Mr. Caine’s opinion (Would They Defend Muslim Prayer? Letters, 23 September 2009). On the one hand, he cries, ‘Hypocrites!’ among other things, when referring to the supporters (he calls them protesters) at Frank Lay’s recent trial. But then, he proceeds to name-call, using every buzz-word and derogatory term I’ve seen in the papers over the last six months.
So, if people who support Christian prayer are hypocrites (a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess…), why were they at the courthouse engaging in Christian prayer?

If you’re going to put down a group of people, shouldn’t you call them by a name that you really mean? Mr. Caine’s letter screams his opinion that Christians are intolerant while espousing that, on the other hand, folks like him are the pillar of rational, intelligent behavior.

Christians supporting Christian prayer is not hypocritical, Christians supporting Christian prayer over Muslim prayer is not hypocritical. Calling Christians hypocrites, when you really mean to call them intolerant, while you yourself exhibit intolerant behavior? Now that’s being a hypocrite.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Justice is served

Late yesterday, Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freeman were found not guilty of violating a court-ordered ban on prayer in school - at least when students are/were present. This article outlines the history and outcome of yesterday's hearing.

I read about it in the paper version of the paper this morning and was bowled over that hundreds of supporters for the accused walked around the courthouse in downtown Pensacola seven times - some even blowing on ram's horns. That is awesome!

I spoke with someone who was there all day and throughout the rain - which was frequent - many stood strong in support of the Pace HS principal and his AD. Whatever your thoughts on prayer in school, I love you, but can anyone deny that the downward spiral of behavior and accountability in our youth today parallels the removal of faith from the public square.

With all due respect to those of other faiths - or those of no faith - whether I would ask you to examine your need to believe in God and the saving grace of His Son Jesus or not, removing any mention of God from public life is not helping us build a better America.

Personally, I think Judge Rodgers made the right call.


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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Loyalty hath no bounds in Cyberspace

It seems I'm leaning toward making Blogger the permanent home for the Stream. Honest, officer, it was nothing premeditated; I just feel like I need to consolidate my electronic soul.

I have some really cool friends over at LJ and I will definitely give them my forwarding address. I do hope they drop by and say hello here - maybe even become followers; what I call Riders on the Stream. It would be so nice to have the box over there to the left full of attractive little icons.

Going a bit deeper, what does this say about Google? I've always been a fan of Microsoft, even when barely resisting the urge to toss my PC into the backyard and use it for target practice. I don't care what anyone says, Bill Gates & co. are responsible for us all sitting here and typing on a personal computer today.

But Google - they are going one step further. They want to be the Microsoft of the Internet. They want to control all the portals - the on-ramps to the Information Super Highway - so to speak. And maybe not just the on-ramps; maybe the gas stations, cafes, bookstores, and everything else, too.

I'm not using their browser - I'm a dedicated Firefox boy (sorry Bill) - but I've got this blog, and I've got a Google website for my novels. Keeping up the original Stream of Consciousness over at LJ and trying to link it here or even post blogs here, too, was just becoming too high maintenance.

What about social networking? Who owns Facebook? Right now, as far as I can tell, it's private - run by founder Mark Zuckerberg. But how long will it be before Google, Microsoft, or someone else tries to gobble it up?

MySpace? I'm not really in love with MySpace anymore. I had a fling with it and still play a few of the increasingly annoying viral games there (i.e. Mobsters). But the more I think about it, the more of a black hole it seems to be. And although we live in the land of the free - especially in CyberSpace - I find a lot of the people there don't have very good manners. Call me a prude, but I don't need to be bombarded with the F-word to know how serious someone is about a particular subject or issue.

Besides, in my humble opinion, we're already sliding down the slippery slope of selfishness fast enough without needing MY space to enable our selfishness even further.

So, drop back by sometime. I don't always require a soap box for my blog entries. Most of the time it's just about writing, music, sports - especially soccer - or something I heard on NPR one morning and felt like sharing.

So with apologies to Jim Morrison and the Doors, I bid you adieu, for now

Riders on the Storm...