March 9th, 2003

Sea dragon

To read, to write, to do dishes and pick up dog poop - yes, it's Sunday

Spring is here early this year, thanks to the miracle of global warming. The forsythia behind the house has started blooming, and the plum tree is already starting to fade. My daffodils are kicking in, the pink hyacinths are out in full force, and I see two different kinds of tulips in the back yard (I think these must be super-earlies, although the real "earlies" are the species tulips I've got growing on the rock wall that aren't any bigger than the crocuses). Now if only the weather would get into the fifties I might want to do more than just admire these flowers through the kithen windows. Of course, that's part of why I planted where I did, because I can admire them from the confines of a warm room where I am obliged to spend time when I am at home ...

I picked up a bunch of good books in Albuquerque while I was there.Collapse ) The ones I'm most interested in reading are Two Crowns for America, an alternative history by Katherine Kurtz (go Freemasons!), and Skeen's Return by Jo Clayton, who I discovered when I picked up a book simply based on its hysterically cheesy new-wave cover art. I also got a book on Kabuki just because the shows I saw in Tokyo were so cool and I want to learn more about it. I also finished Modesitt's Of Tangible Ghosts (alternative history, ghosts are real, takes place in "now" America) and Severna Park's The Annunciate, which I picked up at either Fred Meyer's or Safeway or some other horrible store. Collapse )


The play last night was very good. We went to late night happy hour at Dragonfish (too many damn art yuppies, should have made it real and gone to Chinatown instead) afterwards and had some in-depth conversation about the relevance of the rise of Hitler to the current state of America, then slowly descended into drunken jokes about our racist relatives and what a good time we're going to have at my brother's wedding watching all of the loose cannons going off. I'm planning on using the earlier conversation as the start of a long series of LJ entries, probably to start next week with my comparison of this moment in American history as a parallel to Peloponnesian Wars era-Greece prior to the Sicilian invasion.

Today I have chores, chores, chores to do, the exact kind of thing that I would have called my mother a white slaver for asking me to do when I was 15. With any luck, tonight we'll finally get to break in our (doubtlessly bootleg) Miyazaki eight-pack we bought off of Ebay and watch Castles in the Sky... after I make some kind of curry for dinner, of course.
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Sea dragon

Jesus, save me from your followers

I have been feeling under attack in the last two years because of my atheism. I haven't felt directly attacked, but I have felt that the support of my government for my freedom to not practice religion has been eroding. I believe that the founders of this country didn't see the American state supporting any religion, although I would like to do more research to prove this so since Christian conservatives have been claiming that this nation at its start was in support of Christianity, just perhaps not any sect. Fortunately, this nice New York Times article contradicts them, if only to a degree, and far short of the degree of contradiction I would like to see. Here's a quote:

Backers of faith-based initiatives say that rules against state support for religion are a recent invention of activist judges. But when the Supreme Court handed down a landmark church-state case in 1947, it was careful to ground its decision in the words of our third president.

Jefferson was hardly hostile to religion. In his first Inaugural Address, he called God "an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter." But when the Danbury Baptist Association, a Connecticut religious group, asked him to declare a national fast day, he refused, citing his conviction that "religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God," and his view of the First Amendment as "building a wall of separation between church and state."

Jefferson saw freedom of conscience as paramount. "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful," he wrote in "A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom." He also feared that if the churches were united with government, the result would be tyranny.