The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The season I hate

Tuesday I was shopping and I noticed that the background music had shifted to Christmas music. Actually, I should probably be thankful this was the first time I'd heard any — usually it starts in October or even September, and it was already nine days into November this time — but I wish there were some way to just get away from it all! Oh, some of the music was innocuous stuff like Leroy Anderson's "Sleigh Ride" (not a mention of Christmas in the whole song, thank goodness!) but most of it was the usual carols, heavy with the spirit of Christian dogma.

It's the one time of the year I really feel I'm a minority. Now, at least this isn't an actual Government-sponsored commemoration. But as some people don't like mosques near Ground Zero, which are just as privately organized, I would love to see Christians keep their observation of a holiday I find distasteful in their homes and churches.

Let us be factual. Christmas is the commemoration of the birth of the man who created a split in my religion, whose followers over the centuries have persecuted my co-religionists, and who continue to try to proselytize to win converts. They have the right, under our great First Amendment, to freely exercise their religion; but I wish they would realize that drawing other people into their celebration is offensive to some of us.

Hopefully, I will not have any more reason to mention Christmas this year. Just understand that, as far as I'm concerned, I wish to ignore it as totally as I can — though I can't totally, because I'll have to contend with such matters as the fact that even places that are normally open seven days a week will be closed on December 25th.