Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Something Different...

This is an off-topic post, but is still something worthwhile...

Right now, Royals pitcher Zack Greinke is the best pitcher in major league baseball, and as he is starting to gain noteriety, (see this months Sports Illustrated), I just want to thank Zack for all his hard earned recognition.  He is not only an interesting sports story but a human interest one as well.  He has overcome social anxiety, (which would seem difficult as a person that has to speak to the press and perform in front of strangers every night), a bumbling team ownership, and a number of different coaches telling him different things, to become an up and coming ace.  We in Kansas City thank you Zack for sticking through the tough times, and hope to have you around awhile and be a part of a growing franchise...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Twittering All Over

Relief from Belief can now be found on Twitter! My username is "cgentry02", sign up and get more posts than humanly possible!!!!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Traitors! umm Nut Cases! Nut Sacks! I mean Tea Baggers!

Is this real? Are there people out there actually claiming "Taxation Without Representation"? (Outside of DC I mean). Was there some set of circumstances where they couldn't vote for a congressperson or senator? Was Obama not democratically elected? The answer to the last 2 questions is an obvious "No". The answer to the first 2 questions is a surprising "Yes".

Interesting...the republican party, in an attempt to create a "grassroots" movement, has put millions of dollars into the promotion of "tea parties", an anti-tax propaganda venture in the hope of rejuvenating the conservative movement...job NOT well done. By making vague claims of some sort of "unconstitutionality" of Obama's policies, the conservative movement has alienated itself from a country that overwhelmingly supports the president. While we know from past conservative actions that they will cut off their nose to spite their face, it's hard to believe the outrage incited by the frothy mouth El Rushbo, or the just plain silly Glenn Beck, could be taken seriously, and for the most part it isn't. I'm not what you would call over patriotic, (don't get me wrong, I love my country, but realize we are only one of many), but what Faux news, along with Glen "Rodeo Clown" Beck are doing may be considered treasonous. Making false claims of misrepresentation because your guy didn't win the election is as despicable as it is dishonest.

As the sin of Pride runs rife through Faux News, so does support for the president, (and his policies), across the country, (excluding undereducated white southern males of course). Can we learn anything from fake populist uprisings built on the flimsiest of reasons? Yes and it is this...Glen Beck is a real "Eye-Hole"...

Thanks again to ArtMaggot Hysteria for the use of his work, as he sums up Mr. Beck quite well...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Is it the Religion? Or the Mind-set?

I found this article recently about a study that shows the decline of religion in America.

I've read subsequent articles referring to this study, specifically by religious leaders that are obviously concerned, and contemplate what my mindset might be if faced with the same predicament. If the "value" system I've been using to judge the world around me is losing "subscribers", what does that mean to me? Could I ignore the fact that people were finding better explanations that what I was giving? Is my life/personality/being so wrapped up in this system that I could never look at my position objectively? While I believe that a person could hold to their religion even as others are finding reason to leave, that this not only could change a person, but SHOULD change, (or at least give pause), to those that profess an undying faith. As pragmatism wins out over vague references to "good" or "evil", so goes reason over faith. And this seems to be the arc of Western History...

As Aristotle and Socrates brought the gods down from Olympus, as Galileo and Copernicus brought the stars down to earth, and as Darwin and the Scientific Method discovers the story of life on our planet, the ability for man to make arguments on "feelings" and "faith" has greatly diminished. As evidence and logical rationale take the place of superstition, the culture of man advances on. While there were hiccups in this process, (The Dark Ages, etc.), it is still the case that the mind-set it takes to hold religious convictions is being replaced by the mind-set that allows for new evidence to enter the room at any time. It is this ability to deal with new facts that makes humans as successful as they are, the brain was not meant to be a static storage space, but a biological tool that evolves to the changing circumstances.

It is my thought that this study doesn't necessarily show that religion is "losing out" to non-religion, but that we are becoming more discriminate in our knowledge base. With the amount of knowledge we have access to, we don't need the preacher to take on biological theories, our Imam isn't our pharmacist anymore, and our Rabbi's better stay out of the political realm. I believe that the fact that we are "losing religion" in our country isn't solely because of the disenfranchising by the clergy, (see Catholic Priests), but by an awakening that we can think for ourselves. As we allow ourselves to become self-aware, we are compelled to be truthful with ourselves, and in doing so require no guidance but the self-evidence of our own consciousness.

Thursday, April 2, 2009