Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Wrong Dance

In a previous post, I talked about the Supreme Court decision concerning a slave named Dred Scott. It is known as Dred Scott v. Sandford from 1857. Scott claimed:

his presence and residence in free territories required his emancipation. Scott's lawyers argued the same for Scott's wife, and further claimed that Eliza Scott's birth on a steamboat between a free state and a free territory had made her free upon birth.
Scott lost and the results can be read at the Wikipedia link above. Among them is the ruling that African-Americans could not ever be considered US citizens (since overruled by the 14th Amendment).

The ruling in this case is so bad that at first it deflects consideration of the argument. Scott's lawyers worked within the confines of the mindset of the day. Laws allowing slavery in some states were accepted, and in others they were not. The argument "danced" around these laws. The thinking was that because Scott resided in free territories for a time, he should be emancipated.

But this argument was wrong. Scott should have been freed from slavery because no one should have been a slave in the first place.

I think the same can be said for the situation in US classrooms and the way the theory of evolution is handled. We are making the wrong arguments and dancing the wrong dance. Though atheists may have their rights in the classroom, so do believers. No child should be made to answer to a government institution against his or her religious beliefs. The Intelligent Design movement tries to dance around the rules against teaching creationism in the classroom by saying it is OK to teach evolution as the working theory but we should be allowed to look at the weaknesses of it. Instead they should demand that Darwinian Evolution Theory not be forced upon children at all.

Though many scientists want Darwinian evolution to be their working theory, that does not mean they should enforce it upon others. Some scientific theories impinge on the religious beliefs of others. American scientists and educators may not want to trouble themselves with thinking of others, but they live in a country with many different kinds of religions and they need to face that fact. There are soldiers willing to die for the right of freedom in this country, and many of these soldiers have beliefs that are contrary to philosophical materialists. When one thinks of the toll taken by the efforts to correct the scourge of slavery, it is asking little of educators to make the effort to teach scientific methods in a way that does not impinge on individual beliefs. For believers, science is the study of designed entities.

The ID people should realize that for a believer, design doesn't have to be proven. It is already understood that God made everything. Science itself can be defined as the study of designed, created entities. Science is how we learn about these entities.

A Creationist is someone who believes God created the world--not just someone who thinks He did it exactly 10,000 years ago. It is time to claim back the word "Creationist" for all believers and to unite for what is right.

Of course, Creationists need to respect the rights of others. There has got to be some way we can work this out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oceana Fund-Raiser

My husband and I have only once gone to a Craft Fair to try to sell books. It was a long time ago and held at a Catholic Church yearly dinner. Tom had made wooden toys, which sold fairly well. As I remember, the book sales did not go as well. The good news is that our local history museum has been a dependable source for book sales for my local historian husband. He wrote a novel set in our town in the olden days of the lumbering era, called Sawdust Fires.

I'm not a historian, although I appreciate history much more after being married to Tom. I set my fictional books in the present. My most recent, Unto Others, is in Orchard County, Michigan. This is a fictional name for Oceana County, which is just north of the one in which we live. (Unto Others is the book on the right in the picture.)

I worked in Oceana County for a time, and I found it a very beautiful place. It is on the shores of Lake Michigan, and has dune-filled beaches. It also has orchards further inland which are protected by the Lake in the spring (the trees are kept from budding too early and freezing by the lake water effect).

The towns of Oceana County are small, and the opportunities for selling my book there are rather few. Still, I'd like to give people a chance to buy a mystery book set in their own countryside (though all the names are fictional and not meant to portray any real persons). Then I found out about a Craft Fair that is going to be held at the Oceana Medical Care Facility, at 701 East Main Street. A map for the place can be seen here.

The contact person told me they had 300 people come last year. I have already reserved a spot for myself. I have always enjoyed going to the town and I look forward to my second Craft Fair sales experience. I'll be there November 20th, between 7:00 am (for early birds!) and 3:00 pm. Since that is next Friday, I'll leave this post up for another week to advertise. If you are anywhere near Hart at that time, come on over!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Anniversary Flowers

It is an anniversary year for Charles Darwin. He was born 200 years ago this past February, and November is the 150th year since his book, Origin of Species, was published.

It is an anniversary year for me, too, although in a very different vein. I had wandered away from my childhood religion, Christianity, until January 1989.

I had been influenced by the atheism of the scientific scene, not just at my college but in the culture. In these mindsets, Darwin has played a great part. He sought to explain all of life by material, natural means, excluding all necessity for God. Also, I went through some personal traumatic experiences and did not believe a God would allow that much pain.

But, I was miserable without God, too. Atheism surely gave no comfort. And, though Christianity didn't always make sense, atheism made less sense.

I then met my future husband. He is a wonderful man and brought me to his Catholic Church. It exuded a warmth and acceptance I had not experienced before. This was also true at a Christian organization with which I volunteered and eventually became employed for a time. I came back to my original faith, which I appreciated at a different level than I did as a child. I realized that pain need not be permanent. It can be healed through God's love. Pain teaches us the divisions between good and evil and helps us appreciate that on the other hand, life itself is a wonderful blessing.

I have one Christmas cactus which has coral-color flowers and I like it very much. But I also wanted one with pink flowers, though I didn't want to spend the money. Then last Christmas my mother gave me a little one someone had given to her. It had about 3 branches and no flowers. I said I'd like it and have been looking forward to seeing the color. I thought I'd have to wait until Christmas to find out.

But now both my Christmas cactuses are blooming early this year! And the little one is pink!

Christmas cactuses are like anniversary flowers. They are special in that they bloom at the time of wonderful celebration every year--the time of our Savior's birth. And I celebrate the year, twenty years ago, when I returned to the Lord through faith in Jesus Christ.