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Brownback signs bill blocking use of Islamic law

The problem as I see it is the perpetual tug of war between those thoughtful people who, in sincere humility, acknowledge their incomplete knowledge and understanding of reality, admit of the possibility of our subjection to higher orders of consciousness and will, and those people who either fear admittance of such possibility lest it slide into superstition and brutality, or who themselves are superstitious and brutal.

May 28, 2012 at 12:37 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

God, marriage

I really believe here the matter in dispute is a question of which legal unions should be set apart by the name, "marriage." I believe that most who oppose applying the term to homosexual unions do not necessarily oppose ceding to these unions all the rights and privileges of marriage as allowed by the state, save the name itself. Yet the name marriage itself connotes a lowest-common-denominator theism that itself warrants grave scrutiny by those who would maintain a distinction between church and state. Rather than quibble about whether gays are entitled to "marriage," let's question whether "marriage" is an entity distinct from a legal contract in all other matters equal save in name. Granting the contrary would nullify the objection to applying the term to all civil unions. If we hold it to be distinct, despite identity in all other aspects save name, then the state has no business peddling anything called by such name to any couple, gay or straight. Under such circumstances all unions called marriages by the state should be called civil unions and the term "marriage" be reserved as an epithet applicable at will by common consent within the group--religious or secular--choosing to apply it, but conferring no additional legal benefits.

May 27, 2012 at 11:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Natural selection: Burial method gains popularity

The funeral is for the living, not the deceased. The best we can hope for is the promise of a particular kind of funeral; we won't be there to see it carried out. Having said that, it is illuminating to those present to think upon the corruptibility of the flesh, its return to the earth, and its incorporation, at whatever level of complexity in terms of the compounds taken up by other living beings, into new life. If I use a little energy to combust the better part of my substance into carbon dioxide and water, it gets incorporated into the larger ecology every bit as much as the more complex molecules left if my body is allowed to decompose naturally. True, we must take the larger ecology to include cycles not included within entities currently considered alive, e.g. the CO2 wafting past my nostrils may not be incorporated into plant-based sugars anytime within the next hundred millennia, yet that same CO2 exists in a reservoir, so to speak, exchange with which occurs continually by plant and animal life. So bury me, cremate me, whatever y'all want. It'll all work out in the end. But, hey. It's your money!

May 27, 2012 at 9:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )