Refusing to Remain Silent

Testing, testing. Is this thing on?

It probably isn’t, but here I am anyway.

A lot has happened over the course of the year since I last wrote here.

My wife Jade and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary this month, not with fancy gifts but with several special dates over the course of this past week. Notably, we stuffed ourselves senseless at Willie & Reds in Hagerstown, Indiana; I had never heard of the place before, much less eaten there, but their smorgasbord’s food was delicious, the selection right up my alley. I’m glad Jade introduced me to it! It was, I think, our second choice; I wanted to revisit the restaurant we ate at in Metamora, Indiana, on our wedding day, but they’ve since closed down.

Three years doesn’t seem like such a long time, but Jade and I have been together since my daughter was about a year and a half old; she’s five now, so damn near literally, Jade and I have been together for a lifetime, if not our own lifetime, yet. 


Go Support the Mars Generation!

For the past several months, I’ve been a fan of Abigail Harrison — Astronaut Abby — an aspiring astronaut who spends a lot of her time inspiring other young people, including children, to appreciate and be involved in STEM education and activities.

Two things stuck out to me about this astronaut-in-training:

  1. I’ve no doubt that she must be ridiculously busy — school, space exploration advocacy, fundraising, etc. — but she seems to respond to everything! For someone shooting for the stars, she sure is down to Earth!
  2. She hopes to be the first astronaut on Mars! This is awesome on numerous levels. There has, in my lifetime, been no positive event that rivaled that of decades before my birth: the moon landing. To bear witness in my lifetime to a human setting foot on Mars — especially one whom I’ve had brief conversations with? WOW! More wonderfully, and more long term, my daughter will get to watch Abby’s project grow, and in her teens or twenties, she will (I hope!) get to witness Abby’s Mars landing as live as it possibly can be!

We need something to hope for, something to inspire us in the same way that the space program inspired us back in the fifties and sixties. We need to see ourselves not as separate peoples divided by invisible border lines but as a global human species. 


Happy Exaltation of the Cross Day!

Today is the day in which a subset of Christians celebrate one of the Feasts of the Cross, specifically the Exaltation of the Cross or, as you may know it, the Feast of the Glorious Cross. 


In Remembrance of 2001/09/11

Today marks the fourteenth anniversary that a handful of faithful Muslims chose the path of martyrdom in an act of terror against the United States.

The Cerulean Standard and Secular Now would like to remind you that religions — especially the Abrahamic religions of Judaism née Hebraism, Christianity, and Islam — have antagonism toward human cooperation built into their core scriptures. 


Why Didn’t God Stop the Shooting?

It’s been about two weeks now since Dylann Roof, during an evening service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, shot ten parishioners, killing nine of them, including state senator and senior pastor Clementa C. Pinckney.

So much has been said about this incident. Allegations of (and plenty of evidence for) racist motivations have been discussed at length. The public discourse even went so far as to bring the good ol’ southern heritage of being proud of a time when the black man was subjugated beneath the white man, with the so-called Confederate flag being all over the news, its contemporary appropriateness being examined from every possible perspective.

I’ve said enough about the sociopolitical/racial aspect of the incident over on Facebook, so I won’t dwell on that aspect of the situation. I also wanted to allow a bit of time to pass so that the more urgent discussions could be had before adding my voice on a slightly more obtuse aspect of the incident to the zeitgeist.

There have been 108 school shooting incidents of some kind or another just since January 2010 and just in the United States. Let that sink in for a moment. In five and a half years, there have been over 100 life-threatening incidents within schools — a place we expect to be safe for our children! That’s over twenty per year, at least one a month on average!

Granted, we don’t usually hear about these. For these instances to break into the mainstream news reporting, it needs to be deadly enough to not be considered — and I hate to even call it this — “business as usual.” Sandy Hook, Columbine… Those and others like them are what we hear about, what we heartbreak over, and what we promise ourselves “never again” over (until the next time, right?).

Without fail, you’ll hear some people of the Christian persuasion make the accusation that the shootings wouldn’t have happened if we would just let God back into our schools.


The Kingship of Jesus, A Meme

No Matter Who Is President, Jesus Is King

Here’s a meme which has been passed around in various forms and with various designs; I did a Google Images search for the text (“No matter who is president, Jesus is King.”), and the above version of the meme was the first result. There are two things I want to point out about this meme.

Observation the first, from a biblical POV

From a strictly biblical perspective, the meme is right! Christians are, biblically, citizens of an unearthly kingdom (Philippians 3:20), under the rule of Jesus, their king (1 Timothy 6:15).

So why, if the meme is technically biblically correct am I including this as a mindless meme? Well, do you actually know anyone who lives their life as if Jesus is their king? 

The Vault

Ascending toward a Secular Now

The other day, I described what it is to ascend Olympus, to explore the holy places to determine whether the gods are there. It’s a form of active skepticism — a response to vocal religious apologists with endless claims that God is here and here’s why — and is a form which is not only necessary but also sorely lacking in society.

Oh, sure, you’ll find a handful of celebrity skeptics who’ll ascend Olympus publicly (you may recognize the names Krauss, Tyson, Nye, and Dawkins), and there are certainly a growing number of online personalities doing their part to ascend Olympus (Friendly Atheist, Christina Rad, Jaclyn Glenn, The Amazing Atheist, and so on).

If I were to guess from what I’ve read or seen of their material, we all have one goal, to sort of reclaim society from religion, to make freedom from religion as mainstream as the freedom of religion, such that anyone from any religion (or non-religion) can live life civilly, based upon laws & morality which are agreed upon for everyone’s benefit, and not for the benefit of members of a certain religion or in deference to the laws of a particular religion.