Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

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I Am Not Really Shocked

April 6, 2009

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090403/NEWS/90403010

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously rules that marriage in Iowa is open to any combination of gender. They affirmed that churches are free to only marry people of different genders, but the State itself cannot deny gay couples marriage licenses.  They basically said, “Your religion my not support gay marriage, but the Constitution of the State of Iowa is not subject to your religion.”

Iowa has a strong history of independence, liberty and fairness.   Let me quote some passages from the state constitution:

"Sec. 1.   All men  are,  by nature, free  and equal, and  have certain
          inalienable rights  among which  are those  of enjoying  and
          defending life and  liberty, acquiring, possessing  and pro-
          tecting  property,  and  pursuing  and  obtaining safety and
          happiness."

I think it is safe to say that most people consider marriage part of the "pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness."

"
Sec. 4.   No religious  test shall be required as a  qualification for
          any office, or public trust, and no person shall be deprived
          of any of his rights, privileges, or capacities, or disqual-
          ified from the performance of  any of his public or  private
          duties,  or  rendered  incompetent  to  give evidence in any
          court of law  or equity, in  consequence of his  opinions on
          the subject of religion; and any party to any judicial  pro-
          ceeding shall have  the right to  use as a  witness, or take
          the testimony of, any  other person not disqualified  on ac-
          count of interest, who may be cognizant of any fact material
          to the case; and parties to suits may be witnesses, as  pro-
          vided by law."

Which lays out all the ways in which religion is not allowed to affect the state government.  Iowa has a strong list of protections from religion.

I am also glad the Iowa Supreme Court ruled against civil unions.  They smack of "separate but equal," which was ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.

So, yeah for liberty in Iowa!
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Healing Crystals. Crazy?

March 12, 2008

Despite the fact that I love science fiction and fantasy, I am a very skeptical person.  I don’t believe in magic.  I don’t believe in psychic powers.  So, when one of the girls at work had to take a day off of work to go to a class about healing crystals, I managed to keep a straight face, but just barely.

I find the idea that crystals can be used to heal someone patently ridiculous.  Modern medicine has provable results that can be empirically studied.  Healing crystals, not so much.

Then something controversial occurred to me:  Why is believing that crystals and psychic powers can affect the world any crazier than believing thinking at (or talking out loud to) an invisible being can actually affect the world?  Neither one can actually be proven in anyway.  One is a generally accepted as a matter of faith, and the other is believed to be completely silly.

These are the things I think about on the drive back from work.