~Living a life of sophisticated domestication deep in the heart of Texas~

Sunday, July 21, 2013

So, I was on Facebook and....

....I was friended by someone in Europe and stopped by their wall to say hello.  As I was looking around, I came across a wonderful post with pictures of what someone else had accomplished.  Some hard work and creativity and environmental consciousness factored in to this project and they had shared about it all, graciously allowing strangers like me to have a glimpse inside their life.  I was reading comments of others, and sure enough, there were those who insisted on saying something critical and down-putting.  Happily, some nice folks came along to scold and add their two bits of encouragement to the original poster. 

Why can’t people assume the best and be positive when someone is sharing new ideas of something about themselves?  What makes a person come along and be the “wet blanket” or have something sneering or critical to say, anyway?  Honestly, I don't appreciate it when I post something I consider to be beautiful or happy and someone considers it their opportunity to be grumpy.  LOL!!!

Well, I had an incident the other evening, again on Facebook.  It’s become a fairly well-known fact that I am pro-President Obama.  I don’t like it when I post something about the POTUS or FLOTUS or present administration in the White House, and people come along and have nasty things to say.  No name-calling, please.  Go ahead and offer an idea that might conflict with mine or be more conservative than my liberal point of view, but don’t get profane or obscene and keep it light.  If it’s not time to get all controversial, then I’ll say something and invite you to back off.  Save it for your own post.  So, anyway, I had posted the meme that is pictured above, depicting the late Trayvon Martin’s attire being worn by President Obama.  This was posted on my wall in appreciation of what Pres. Obama had to say about Trayvon.  One person came along and offered an idea that I found interesting, and another person came along after that and started to discuss his ideas.  Person number 2 has been travelling the world with his son and oftentimes has some pretty critical things to say about the USA.  Oftentimes, expats are like that.  They get pretty verbal about what they don’t like “back home” and aren’t afraid to be scornful and downright anti-American.  Whatever.  I’m not one of those people.  When I travelled outside the USA, I missed it and was proud to call it home.  But that’s me, and I digress.  Anyway, the comments got heated and I vented my frustration at people coming along dissing the POTUS.  I vehemently IN ALL CAPS made my point and….you guessed it.  First commenter felt compelled to argue and get huffy with me.  I got huffy right back, and he told me off.  I told him off right back.  How did he retaliate?  He unfriended both me and my husband.  (boo hoo, eyeroll)  Just as well, because it’s not nice for single guys to tell off wives of married guys.  LOL!!!


Aren’t people funny?  Sometimes, not so much.  


Thursday, July 18, 2013

My letter to...

.... a local paper:

Contemporary medical science describes the continuum of gestation in complete detail and those who accept this eminently valid knowledge will be familiar with the words “zygote,” “embryo” and “fetus.” Antiabortion sentiment and commentary tend to avoid any reference to the first term and recognize the second and third but grudgingly. That is because awareness of the speck, blob or tadpole-like status of the earliest stages does not lend itself to shrill claims that termination represents “murder” of a “baby” or “child.”

Extremists in the Texas Legislature have embraced and emphasized the information that a fetus arguably develops sensation of pain by 20 weeks. Accordingly, they should be denied the convenience of discounting the reality that from 2 to about 12 weeks the tiny entity does not have a differentiated nervous system and so is absolutely without awareness or personality. This seriously undermines any rational argument that it is a person with rights.

The opinion that personhood and a right to life begin at conception is a religious one, so in a society of constitutional liberty it is not permissible to force such a view on the public through laws. I don’t see what is so hard to understand about this.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Reply to Dr. H ....

I felt called to write a response to a fine guest column in the Standard-Times by a physician of our acquaintance, on religion. This was kindly printed today, if edited to leave out the doctor's name, as the SAST prefers not to "use the writer's name in rebuttals. This is to ensure that discussions revolve around issues and not individuals."

Concurring, will leave his name off here -- if permitted to mention that he is an outstanding, accomplished physician whose father was my father's doctor. Rebuttal perhaps, but meant to be respectful, my commentary:

“Buddhism doesn't go to war against exact scientific principles”

Dr. H’s column of May 30 replied to a rationalistic challenge to the Christian religion by offering assertions of plain presupposition that various divine events in the Bible really occurred. I respect his frankness and faith, but found little in such comments to satisfy a rational-humanist inquiry.

I took particular notice of Dr. H’s viewpoint because I recall conversation with his father on this very topic, years ago. He tried to help me understand how medical doctors can heartily believe events of the Books of Moses actually took place.

I see that to this day many physicians are Christian and, even more perplexing, some go as far as to embrace biblical literalism or inerrantism, i.e., the dogmatic province of creationist and fundamentalist denominations. Aren’t those the folks who scorn science? Germ theory, genetics, particle physics and – yes – evolution biology are integral to current medicine and incompatible with literalistic Bible belief.

Metaphysical/spiritual teachings, if they are sound, will not conflict with science and reason. Some of us are just not honestly able to accommodate the Bible’s reliance on myth and compromised logic.

Happily, there is Buddhism – the sovereign truths of which are ever corroborated by science, rather than undermined. More than other religious systems, this one entails pure and potent discernment of the true nature of reality. Buddhist teachings (as reverently systematized during 2,000 years through China toward Japan) set forth discrete principles, like a mystic physics or calculus.

Though gods, demons and miraculous phenomena abound in the sutras, a Buddhism of the present age identifies divine energies and functions of the cosmos in the light of an up-to-date understanding. Certainly there is appreciation for wisdom of ancient vintage, but no Buddhist with sense is about to go pitting the extravagant lore of 2,600 years ago against today’s high-confidence scientific knowledge.

A religion that is not dead will undergo development and adapt through the centuries, drawing gratefully on progress in human knowledge. In my particular sect, faith turns upon what is known about our connection to the living law of the universe – an improvement, I should hope, over faith measured by one’s capacity for believing unlikely things without proof.

For believers in Moses (who lived 700 years before the lawgiver Gautama Buddha), perhaps something of the profound primary reality is referenced in Exodus 3:14, when Man receives a title for invoking God: I AM THAT I AM. The fundamental law is not a result, not the effect of any prior cause, but a perfect and eternal singularity that contains its own purpose.

My faith tradition likens this sovereign absolute to the lotus, wherein flower and seed – which cause one another – appear at the same time. Sure enough, quarks have a similar arrangement, revealing how it might be that the intelligent design and the intelligence doing the designing are, as we Buddhists are fond of saying, “not two.”

Left to their own devices, quarks and leptons make the atom, a living engine of order that carries construction codes in its heart. From there, stellar birth-death cycles cook up the hundred elements out of just hydrogen and helium, ordaining the phenomenon we call chemistry. Thus, a basic proposition about forces and particles has been blueprint sufficient for all the intricacy and value we see around us, and all purpose. How wondrous!

Photo credit:  Tom Hammang Photography