Category Archives: Culture

Some Thoughts on Patriotism

Some Thoughts on Patriotism

In the United States one of the most patriotic things we can do is examine, question, and critically challenge both our government and our social values. This is one of the core principles that made the founding of our nation unique in its time and (at our best) is a model and standard for other nations. Continue reading

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Some Quick Thoughts On Popular Christian Memes About The 2017 Eclipse

Some Quick Thoughts On Popular Christian Memes About The 2017 Eclipse

1. Total Solar Eclipses Are Not Rare, But Seeing One May Be

Although an individual, remaining in a single region her or his whole life, may never see a total eclipse or perhaps witness such an eclipse only once or twice in a lifetime, the occurrences of total eclipses is not rare. Total solar eclipses happen somewhere in the world about every 18 months. There will be five in the next six years:
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The Current Vetting Process for Refugees Seeking to Be Resettled In the United States

The Current Vetting Process for Refugees Seeking to Be Resettled In the United States

I am for screening or “vetting” of refugees seeking to be resettled in our country. I believe there should be in-depth processes which evaluate and validate who enters our nation, especially in times of great conflict and from areas of great conflict.

However, what I have found in the midst of the current national debate on this topic is that most people are unaware of what is already in place in terms of screening/vetting refugees. There is a high degree of assumption that whatever is in place it is not detailed enough. When I ask, “What do you think should be in place to make our system better?” the most common answers are usually related to “background checks” and “how do we know who these people are?” Continue reading

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Pew Research: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

Pew Research: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back

This report is not surprising, but re-affirms the trends that we have been witnessing since the early 1990’s.   As the report states:

“By the end of the 1990s, 14% of the public claimed no religious affiliation. The rate of religious change accelerated further during the late 2000s and early 2010s, reaching 20% by 2012. Today, one-quarter (25%) of Americans claim no formal religious identity, making this group the single largest “religious group” in the U.S.” (page 2)

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Some Post-Election Thoughts

Some Post-Election Thoughts

1. The Electoral College

The electoral college is not better or worse than a pure majority election. It is simply a different form of democracy. Both forms (popular vote or electoral college) have pros and cons. Our system is a Republic, set up on state-based representation (were are the “United States”). Continue reading

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