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.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A note to Christians reading this blog

While I am on many points in agreement with those on the political Right, there is one point on which I find us at serious odds. I recall having read Rush Limbaugh complaining about an “assault on Christmas,” and as far as I'm concerned, I'm proud to join that assault.

Now get my point correctly. I have no problem with your celebrating the birth of the founder of your religion privately, at home, or in your churches. Where I object is your attempting to make those of us who do not share your religion take part in that observance. I don't want to be wished a Merry Christmas — how would you appreciate being given some other religion's equivalent? I don't mind the idea of you having a Merry Christmas, or wishing it to each other — but can you take the trouble to find out whether someone celebrates Christmas before wishing someone a Merry Christmas?

Christmas is a time of sadness for me. I think of the time I was, at age 10, suddenly ostracized by a music teacher who had liked me enough to teach me songs to sing outside of class, simply because I refused to sing carols with words like “O come let us adore him, Christ the lord,” as contrary to my own religion. I think of the time, many years later, when in graduate school in Charlottesville, Virginia, I could eat, on one December 25, only what I could get in vending machines because not a single restaurant in that city was open. (At least, here in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D. C., I know of some places that will remain open; I think I'll be eating Chinese food this year.)

So please let alone those of us who are not Christians. Let me try to make this just a plain old Wednesday, not a festive day at all. We have our rights too.

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