Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Total Drek Friday Roundup!

Well, folks, there are enough things that happened today in the world, I think I need to post on a little of everything. And so... here goes.

A while back I posted on an effort by House Republicans to throttle public broadcasting. Well, as of right now, it looks like their effort has mostly failed. I say "mostly" because all of the funding for public broadcasting has not been restored, but at least we will still have such a system in a few years. Hopefully.

Next up, you'll recall that yesterday I commented on a story in the New York Times that informed us that a panel of experts believes the Bush Administration's space policy lacks both money and focus. This bugs me, as I have long been a proponent of space exploration. Well, sadly, it appears that the space program isn't the only federal agency that is lacking for funds. This is particularly disgusting, considering that Bush's other policies are increasing the need for medical care for veterans. It's bad enough to waste American lives in an ill-conceived imperialist adventure, but to then cut the funding for their medical care? That's a kick in the face.

I commented a while back on findings regarding scientific honesty and wondered how long it would take before the Bush administration began exaggerating the bad in order to discredit scientists. After all, they seem to have no reluctance about restating our findings to serve their own needs. Apparently the Republicans have decided to do me one better by just preventing us from gathering data in the first place. Apparently Senator Larry Craig of Idaho has taken the wrong lesson from quantum physics and decided that if you don't observe something, it doesn't happen. Bad news, Senator: if you refuse to look at a problem, it doesn't go away. This is especially disappointing in that it threatens Bush's long-standing commitment to resolving Mankind's conflict with fish. To wit: "I know that the human being and the fish can coexist."

Finally, I've stated before that while I'm not a big fan of religion, I don't have a problem with it so long as church and state remain firmly separated. Sadly, I don't think too many modern American Christians entirely agree with me on this point, given that they've already cooked up a flag for their long dreamt of religious police state. And if that isn't enough to scare the shit out of you, lemme ask you this: is it just me, or does the Christian flag look an awful lot like the NRA logo? Make sure to check out the rest of the website, and the pledge, which includes the following disclaimer:

Please note: there is clearly confusion among many. This pledge, flag, and its mission is not to replace our government pledge OR Old Glory. We are NOT trying to overthrow our government or force anyone to be a Christian. We are, however, honoring our LORD and protecting our Christian heritage and liberties. We are allowed to do that under our Constitution. The State cannot dictate to our church that we may not. When that day ever comes, You and I will all be in a desperate condition. May we please agree upon that much?


I am less than reassured considering the multitude of things those who pledge allegiance to this flag (Note that I am not including all Christians here, just the ones who feel a need to pledge allegiance to a separate Christian flag, as though our own U.S. flag isn't good enough. Is your faith really so flimsy, I wonder?) would like to compel the rest of us to do. Well, that's okay. The state cannot dictate that you not honor your "Christian heritage," but, likewise, your "Christian heritage" can't dictate the findings of science. And I know I'm not alone in that belief.

It's been an interesting day so far.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Drek's SGf said...

I'd like to say that I'm shocked, especially about the Christian flag, but I can't. I read through some of the comments people left, and when dissent arose (I'm assuming from people who don't want to confuse church and state), the Christian Flag People shut them down. I guess it's good they're allowing dissenting voices to be posted. It just freaks me out a little (actually, a lot) to hear the rhetoric of all the people who agree with the CFP crew - it's interesting how people use symbols and symbolic language to construct their place in this world. How can liberals fight rhetoric of nationalism and patriotism when it often seems that different groups have constructed entirely different meanings for them? Are we less patriotic because we DON'T necessarily want to fly the Christian flag? Ugh...

Friday, June 24, 2005 1:00:00 PM  
Anonymous lago said...

Two things. First, there has been a Christian flag in common use (think the decorative flags behind podiums and lecterns) for quite some time. See this page for an example. I'm not clear on what these other people are up to. My suspicion is that someone got a copy of Illustrator for his birthday.

Second:
Note that I am not including all Christians here, just the ones who feel a need to pledge allegiance to a separate Christian flag, as though our own U.S. flag isn't good enough. Is your faith really so flimsy, I wonder?

I'm not sure I follow you here. For one thing, the two flags are symbols that have different meanings (and in different realms, I might add) that may not overlap, despite their formal similarities (ie they're both flappy cloth things). For another thing, what faith are you talking about? If you take Durkheim seriously, the general use (not just religious use) of ritual and symbol contributes to reaffirming group identity, so it's hardly indicative of a loss of faith by religion in particular that people rally around a symbol that means something to them. Just as one's commitment to the Bible doesn't necessarily preclude a commitment to reading and learning from other books, pledging allegiance to a Christian flag doesn't necessarily preclude pledging allegiance to a national flag. Unless, of course, you think that religious people are incapable of distinguishing between the two, but that's a different sort of objection.

Friday, June 24, 2005 8:54:00 PM  

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