Archive for February, 2013

Happy 10th, Iraq War!

Remember the drum-beating pre-war days? The photos of supposed bio-weapons plants (a lot of empty tubes), the yellowcake uranium fabrication, Saddam’s “ties” to al-Qaeda, Colin Powell playing the ultimate Uncle Tom and lying for the team in front of the UN with his little vial of table salt, the relentless fear-mongering by Bush & Co? Good times, yeah!!

“I now proclaim the transformation and commitment of the Catholic Church to a new, humanistic Christianity, one that honors, above all things, human dignity, human individuality, and human choice.

Every atheist has to deal with the consequences of unbelief, which depend on one’s religious environment and the age at which freedom from religion is first realized. In my case, the environment was Judaism lite, secular and forgiving enough that I could simply walk away unscathed.

So now we have bi-lateral Facebook angst: people post out of insecurity and resume envy, while those who read the results of the posters’ relentless search for friends and likes become jealous and dissatisfied with their own lives.

Perhaps on Groundhog Day, we can realize, as Phil eventually did, that through it all, the only thing that we can certainly change is our own mind and behavior. Like Phil, all we can do is keep at it till we get it right.

Hyman William Perlman (1910-80) was indirectly responsible for this blog – and in fact for all the secularism, skepticism, atheism, and humanism that have been the foundation of my intellectual life. He was the first skeptic I ever met, and the effect was lasting. Every time Mom would babble on about “God’s will,” he would snap back, “What’s God got to do with it?”

What indeed. Things may happen for some reason or for none at all. There is certainly no guiding intelligence, let alone the nutjob main character of the Abrahamic religions. Bill understood that.

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