Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

I just received an email from my church office, letting me know a fascinating fact: that the classic Christmas song "Twelve Days of Christmas" actually encoded some of the basics of the Christian faith.

My BS meter immediately started ticking.

So I went to that bastion of truth and otherwise, Snopes.com. Thirty seconds of research -- more accurately, typing into a search bar and pressing send -- proved my meter was well-calibrated.

This shows either that we Christians blindly accept anything that comes our way without analysis, or we knowingly sacrifice truth for the sake of a good and uplifting story. Either is utterly unacceptable.

Four thirty-five

About a year ago, I discovered a site called thirty-thousand.org. It was basically a site focusing on how those who considered and wrote the Constitution of the United States intended there to be a Representative for every thirty thousand citizens. One does wonder if they ever pictured the United States having three hundred million citizens, thus requiring ten thousand members in the House. But even that aside, it also pointed out the gross discrepancies between House districts, where some actually have twice the residents of others.

Flash forward to 2010. The Supreme Court just denied an appeal aiming to double or even quadruple the number of Representatives. One of the stated reasons for this original appeal was to more fairly divide the existing districts.

Unfortunately, everywhere I look I find only the same three or four brief paragraphs on this. It seems to be treated as a non-issue, when I personally feel it's anything but. The choice to have 435 Representatives -- no more, no less -- seems nothing but arbitrary to me, and though I don't deem 10,000 Representatives necessary, an expansion to make the picture of the American people the House is supposed to be less grainy seems anything but a bad idea to me. Maybe I'm missing something. I hope it's not just a dedication to a needless status quo that caused the Court to deny it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Truth be told, I absolutely believe in an individual's God-given right to be stupid. Do whatever you like; as long as it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket, I'm okay with it.

But in that statement comes the flip-side: you are not entitled to my help to get you out of the trouble your poor choices cause. You can ask; I just might say yes. But my time and money used to fix your self-caused problems is not your right. What is mine is yours only if freely offered. If it is not freely offered, you're on your own.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Life and Choice

On the one side, you have those who call themselves pro-life. On the other, pro-choice. And to hear these two camps talk, you'd think "life" and "choice" are antonyms. But that's a bit like responding to someone who says "I like football" by saying "I like basketball"... and then, of course, burning down the football stadium.

Is there room to be both? Certainly. You can be strongly pro-life, saying that to destroy that little life growing inside a woman's womb would be a terrible mistake, one with the potential to haunt her for a very long time... but still defend her right to an abortion. It gets down to the status and rights -- if any -- that the fetus/baby has, and that can tend to be an extremely sticky question.

Incidentally, the concept of being anti-life and anti-choice tickles at my mind. I wonder how that would work.