The oldest galaxy? What will the crazy creationists think? Thursday, Oct 21 2010 

I’m always amazed and mystified when I hear about the things that we are finding in outer space.  Recently, scientists have discovered the oldest galaxy thus far.  There’s just so much to discover and find out that it’s endless.  It’s mind boggling and there are concepts that are just too big for some to grasp.  Like, for instance, I have trouble grasping the concept in the article that talked about how this galaxy is actually a 20th of it’s current age.  So, it would be like looking at a 4 year old but, in reality, they’re really an adult.  I’m assuming, from my reading and self-study, that this has to do with how long it takes the light to get here (or at least to the telescope’s lens).  That concept alone is absolutely huge.  When I read scientific journals about the universe being endless and about the different materials that it’s made up of, it’s really hard to match these concepts with a God that has the fickle behavior of a mere human being.

Around the church, I occasionally hear folks mention that something is in “God’s favor”.  Really?  How would you know?  I’m at the point now where I really wonder, if I know that I have a limited capacity to grasp the vastness of the universe how could a lady in church have the wherewithal to know what God wants?  I guess the answer, for many, would be “in the Bible” but, as I’ve stated in an earlier post, I’m coming to the conclusion that the Bible is a book that was written by human beings to control (and entertain:) human beings.

In a dark way, it’s really comical when you think about it.  When attending funerals it is often mentioned that it was God’s “will” that the person died and that he or she is “in a better place”.  I always like to study the interaction with people in the scenario.  The wife is so stricken and paralyzed with grief over the passing of her husband that, usually, anything said never registers.  The grief of the family is so thick it’s like getting choked by heavy, Southern heat and humidity in the middle of July.  And then, slowly stepping forth from the crowd is one of the church mothers that approaches the wife of the deceased.  She takes the hand of the grief stricken mother and then, in a putrid mixture of a tone that’s both condescending and a veneer of congeniality she’ll say, “I’m so sorry for your loss.  He’s in a better place with our heavenly Father”.  How is saying something like this in such an obviously insensitive manner a consolation?  Why can’t you just sit with the person and…well, just…be? I’d hate to imagine loosing a loved one but, in my position, I really couldn’t imagine that and dealing with church politics.  And, yes, within the church there are politics…even at funerals.

So, even the concept of death, which many religions’ main focus is, is a concept that is to “big” or to much for many people to handle.  So why and how can we put a concept of this entity or the energy of what we call God in a box that fits our needs?  It’s a very big question, indeed.

Germany’s Angela Merkel: Multiculturalism has ‘utterly failed’‎ Monday, Oct 18 2010 

This is very interesting.  After reading many of the posts in the comment sections from various sites, I find it interesting that many people are comparing Germany’s immigration problems and issues to the US.  Well, many of the things that I’ve read thus far have by no means been a “deep analysis” of the issue but I do think that it highlights a general consensus of fear-based mind sets that are common between both countries.

Interestingly, I believe that the difference between Germany and the US is that Germany is a country with a particular and distinct culture.  Let me explain this by saying that their ideas of nationalism and nationalistic freedom and pride are wrapped up in things like language, food, and distinct position on the map.  The US, however, is the only country in modern history solely founded upon principles.  We have a unique balance of nationalistic, political, and individual freedoms that are paralleled to no other country.  Once you become an American citizen, it is expected that you respect other citizen’s freedom to be themselves under our unique, living document of the constitution.  In Germany, you are a German outright through an anomaly of where you as a human were born and, ultimately, adopting the standard culture with your surroundings.

Now, as far as what Ms. Merkel says regarding the citizens of Germany must learn the national language, I totally agree.  That is part of their culture and their national heritage.  To me, the same importance must be emphasized here in America for our children (adults, too!) to learn and master the language of English.  This is, I believe, essential to one’s advancement in civilized society in the coming ages.

Now, the thing that I am strongly against and that was not shown in this clip is the portion of Ms. Merkel’s speech regarding the immigrant’s adoption of Christian “values”.  I have a real problem with this notion. It’s a very limiting notion that any nation has a set of certain religious values.  I still have yet to have someone present uniquely Christian values to me.  And, when I say uniquely, I really mean that.  Most, if not all, of the values that people say are uniquely Christian are found in many other religious traditions, at least by the research that I’ve done thus far. And to say that a nation holds specific, religious values opens up a whole can of worms.  That’s why, in the US, there is a separation of church and state.  Well, at least there’s supposed to be.