(Below is blog post. It contains naive ramblings and no great conclusions—and lots of mizpellings and grammatical errors.)
Why is it hard to mix cultures?…What is a culture?
A culture is a collection of people who share certain beliefs and values and, to some degree at least, share ideas on how those values should be expressed. For example, I was raised a Catholic, but I’m not Catholic anymore. To become a Catholic, I adopted Catholic values and beliefs; indeed, to become a member of the Catholic Church I had to profess those values and beliefs in various rituals.
My Mom loved rock music of all sorts. So when I came of age (musically speaking) and found a song and band I loved, it didn’t matter that the band had a satanic cult reputation and I was going to a Catholic school. If I liked Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult, that was just fine with Mom. She gave me the LP as a gift. No criticism or hesitation. “Just don’t make a big thing of it to the nuns, and you’ll be fine.”
JT Eberhard is a persuasive young man. An atheist and advocate for freedom of thought, he speaks regularly about atheism and how to discuss religion and atheism with religious believers. During this talk, JT Eberhard asks a number of questions that hit home and trace my path from reasonably devout Catholic to an irreligious agnostic, or “free thinker” as some like to say. Believers would probably just call me an atheist. Labels are easy. Understanding is hard. Continue reading “What atheists need to ask the faithful ~ JT Eberhard”
Stephen Fry makes a strong case that the Catholic Church is NOT a force for good. I can’t agree that it’s an all or nothing proposition, but I totally agree with Fry’s critique regarding the Church’s position on contraception and the many deaths that thoughtless position has caused in spreading AIDs in Africa and elsewhere. More directly than Melinda Gates did recently, Fry holds the Church and its leadership accountable for its lies and the misuse of its role in people’s lives. Continue reading “Stephen Fry ~ Catholic Church is not a force for good”
I totally agree with and applaud Melinda Gates’ statements about the Catholic Church’s position on contraception. The Vatican’s position on this issue, and its impact on women’s rights, human health, and the spread of HIV in Africa and elsewhere, is one of the key reasons I’m no longer a Catholic. Melinda Gates, the “impatient optimist,” takes a less extreme but no less determined view of the Catholic Church. Continue reading “Melinda Gates challenges Vatican by vowing to improve access to contraception”
“Tivoli is my home town, Flavius Agricola my name . . . Friends who read this, do my bidding. Mix the wine, drink deep, wreathed in flowers, and do not refuse to pleasure pretty girls. When death comes, earth and fire devour all.”
-epitaph of Flavius Agricola
via Funerary Monument of Flavius Agricola | Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Good advice inscribed on the Falvius Agricola’s sarcophagus, which was discovered in 1623 beneath the Vatican floor.