Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Equal Time

There is a fervor in a state park in Indiana over a veterans' memorial statue. The statue depicts a soldier, an eagle, and a small cross, according to the sculptor, that represents a grave.  A soldier standing over the grave of a fallen comrade would have been a usual scene in any of the wars of the 20th century.   The cross was not intended as an endorsement of Christianity.  Yet an atheist group sees it as so,  and is demanding/litigating that it be removed.  Here's my thought: if atheism is a belief system (which it is), then a lack of religious symbols implies an endorsement of atheism.  True equality then would mean that there must be religious symbols displayed wherever no symbols (i.e., the atheist symbol) are displayed so that the religious and the non-religious get equal exposure. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sam not a Ram

Michael Sam was cut by the St. Louis Rams and cleared waivers.  No other coach except Jeff Fisher had to go on the national media and explain why a 7th round draft pick was released for "football reasons."  Already the entire NFL is being labeled homophobic.  His not making the 53 man roster is being blamed on a report about his showering habits.  Seriously.  Remember how Sam's presence was not supposed to be a distraction?  Sam was given a lot of snaps in the pre-season and ran up his stats against second and third stringers, most of whom didn't make their teams either. Every team that signed a DE to its roster or practice squad is being scrutinized.  Why would the Steelers re-sign 36 year old Brent "The Beard" Kiesel when they could have had Sam?  No other potential  NFL player held a news conference to talk about his sexuality.  Perhaps equality means everyone should just keep quiet.  It would be nice if this was the last we heard about this situation... but not a chance, I'm sure. 

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Before Hitler

It's common today to compare people one disagrees with to Hitler or to generally use Hitler as the symbol for the most evil person possible. (In documentaries I've seen people who knew Hitler personally and thought he was quite charming; they were shocked by the revelations about him that came out later.)  But who did people compare those they hated to, and who represented pure evil, before Hitler?  I am told it was Pharaoh, the King of Egypt who enslaved the Hebrews and was, in fact, a rival god to the God of the Israelites.  Would people today know who you were talking about if you said, "He's as evil as Pharaoh."?  (Something about that might be in next Sunday's sermon.)

Awhile back I read a fiction book with the fascinating premise that WWII was fought to a draw (the Nazis and the Americans developed the atomic bomb at the same time).  The Germans took over Europe (and continued to fight Russian guerillas on the Eastern Front) and the Allies retreated to the Americas.  Churchill retired to Canada in disgrace and Eisenhower went into seclusion in the USA.  Joseph Kennedy became president and Hitler remained the Fuhrer.  The holocaust remained a secret and, over time, both sides desired d├ętente...