Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

OSCon report (part 4)

After the conference yesterday, I went back to my hotel room,sorted the swag, and read up on RSS. On the request of one of my readers,I'll be adding a RSS feed to the next version of netdiary. Still, it lookslike there are 2 RSS formats. I wonder if I can do both. :)

Oh, some more on BushJr:here

For some odd reason, I can't get out of my head a song I heard on theradio some time back... here are some lyrics. Google can't findthe song (!!).

Have you ever wondered why a monkey acts as if he's high(forgotten line)Well that big banana junkie, that crazy little monkeygets stoked and then he's swinging through the treesIf you can identify this song and send me the title and author,let me know :)

I'm getting roughly 20% of my mail at, and 80% atthe old forward. The lab network here picked up the domain changesa few days ago, and the rest of the net is just a bit slower. I'llbe offline starting noon tomorrow when the conference closes *sigh*,so I have part of friday and all of saturday on my own, the conferenceending by then. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, although therewill no doubt be a lot of picture-taking. Sunday will be mostly spentat the airports. Yuck. Of course, I lose 3 hours....

Finally, my mother sent me some more Xian propoganda. This isinteresting stuff though, and it has touched on some ideas I'vebeen chewing on for the last year. Let's respond to it -- I knowit's been floating around the web for awhile..

Samuel Thompson wrote:

"I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody forsinging a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when myhigh school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Nice ordering there. I wonder though, let's consider the alternatives:Would you object perhaps to your school teaching the Qu'ran, or perhapsteaching that "there are no gods"? How about schools teaching that thereis a real Santa Claus, or teaching Thursday as a time to worship Thor(the origin of the word Thursday).

Nobody's talking about suing for people singing Xmas songs in Decemberin the general concept anyhow. They're talking about in the contextof school and other government events.

Don't think we don't see the 'his theory' phrasing for what it is either :)

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered becausesomeone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal?It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They'rejust talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to theplayers on the field and the fans going home from the game.They can talk to their gods, centaurs, and fairies on their own time. Letme ask you -- life, liberty, blah blah won't be endangered by your simplykeeping your foolishness to yourself and not asking for government helpin pushing it or talking about it. "But it's a Christianprayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, acountry founded on Christian principles. And we are in the Bible Belt. Accordingto our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others betterthan 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?No, it's not. Learn your history. The founding fathers were a real grab-bagof religions, as were the masses. There were atheists, there were deists,there were christians, and there were others.

Anyhow, we're not in the babble belt, and as noted before, it's very easy tohave prayers that don't need government endorsement.If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewishprayer.

And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome...Would you be happy to let people smoke in your home? You mightaccept it when visiting a friend, but I suspect you'd feel unhappyif you were forced to breathe that crud in your own place. Like itor not, the United States is my home, and I'm not going to let myselfbe oppressed here if I can help it. Mindshare matters, and every littlestep the evangelicals take gives more power to them taking the next.I would never ban your churches, sue you for blasphemy to science, orkill/imprison you for your delusional deities. What I want is a governmentthat isn't a forum for your expression of your belief. History has shown thatyou, theists, have not granted atheists the same. I don't demand timeon the government pulpit talking about my philosophy, or telling you thatwhen you look up in the sky, all you'll find is clouds, planets, and suns."But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobodyis asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate.

Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or apair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call yourlawyer. Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tellthousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a footballgame is going to shake the world's foundations.Well, how about this. We humour you, you humour us. Give us equal time totalk about why your god doesn't exist, and give equal time to any other groupthat applies, the muslims, buddhists, and all that, and you can have yourchristian prayer. No deal? I didn't think so. This is a principle of goodgovernment. No special privileges. Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while ourcourts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us topray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to praywithout ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us tocease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you,well..........just sue me.Oh you poor things! Just a few paragraphs ago, you had the vast majority ofchurches and people, and now, gosh, you're so much the wounded party. Sickand tired.. pfeh. You march back on the path of abusing people, and wheneveryou're held back, you play the victim, whine, and shed tears as the knife ispried back out of your hand. You refer to some mythical christian past, andrely on the ignorance of people to believe in it. It's frustrating -- yourfollowers, sheep, think you're the bee's knees, being used to blind faithand ignorant of science, history, and psychology. Meanwhile, the educatedfolk see through all your crap, and find it pathetic and sad whenever youopen your mouth. Note here I'm addressing the populist evangelicalsspecifically..It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray.. you don't have to say thepledge of allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services thathonor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right.. but by gollyyou are no longer going to take our rights away .. we are fighting back.. andwe WILL WIN! So, tell me exactly what rights are you saying are being taken away?Is it just that you want to be able to use public offices and events to promotechristianity, without offering the same to other faiths? Or is it somethingelse? In essense, where's the beef? I'm hearing a speech that's well composedthat would probably be a lot of fun to read to a cheering crowd. It has theright cliches, emotional appeal, and a mix of parts to shout, parts to talk aboutin quiet anger, and parts to appeal to victims. It doesn't have much contentthough, and while that might not be a problem for your wide-eyed followers,it's not much of an argument to us.God bless America, despite all her faults.. still the greatest nation ofall.....Always the nationalism... always going for base desires.

Well, that's all, folks. Back to the conference for me

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