Seasons and Skies

This has been the year of The Sky for me.

Can’t explain it, except. . .Beauty.

Keep Looking Up.

(all photos by Chris Highland)

Even My Dentist Gets the True Meaning of the Season

The True and Real Reason for the Season?

Kindness, compassion, generosity, peace.

Here’s the card my dentist sent out to patients:

dentist-card
Celebrate Respect

Many deplorably ignorant people would call this “political correctness” but it’s just the right, the good, the respectful and nice thing to do, isn’t it?

(btw, it used to be, this was also the “Christian Love” of the season, before Christmas itself became a weapon in the fake “war”).

I have no idea whether my dentist is a person of faith.  But, it seems, he’s a person of intelligence and respectfulness.

Thanks, Doctor!

Real News: Beware of Fake Faith News!

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Real or Fake? What Really Happened? What’s True and what’s a Lie?

Ah, it’s Christmas-time, the wonderful season when Fake Faith News finds “persecution!” as well as “miracles!” everywhere.

For instance. . .

  1. Elementary school in Pennsylvania cancels their school play, “A Christmas Carol”
  2. Rumor is. . .it was cancelled because Tiny Tim says, “God Bless Us Everyone”
  3. Breitbart, FOX, other conservative local stations pick up the story and RUN
  4. Definitely a case of Christian Persecution!!
  5. The school gets hundreds of calls. . .Jewish family doesn’t feel safe. . .Facebook comments are threatening (this is a new Christian virtue, you know)
  6. The school responds with this Reasonable Response:

“Over the years, preparations had evolved to take 15 to 20 hours of instructional (educational) time to produce this play. Given changes in state standards in recent years, we could not defend the commitment of this kind of instructional time to something not part of the fifth grade curriculum. The teachers agreed that they did not want our students to be put at a disadvantage relative to their peers from other schools in preparation for 6th grade; therefore, the play was cancelled.
… One rumor we’ve been addressing is that one or two families influenced this decision. That’s just not true. The instructional time issue was our primary concern.

See, that damn Education is a Threat to Religious Liberty!

Well, I sure hope that community will now have a Very Merry Christmas. . .

I often wonder if it’s time to teach kids to Fact-Check Faith as well.

How do we know what is fake or true when it comes to faith, religion, god, holidays. . .?


Here’s some Real News that’s encouraging:

The News Literacy Project is now available to students:

“The Classroom Where Fake News Fails” (NPR)

“Many schools — perhaps most — aren’t doing nearly enough to help students learn how to sort fact from social-media fiction. But some are.”

“These teens say they get their news largely from the social media on their smartphones. An infinite stream of stories. Some true. Some false. Much of it written by strangers hoping their readers can’t tell the difference.”

Reasons People Choose Atheism

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Choosing a Path

A religion teacher at Cal Irvine compiled a remarkable list of reasons that people in history have decided to choose non-theism.  It’s worth a scan down the list.

Little Things Can Make an Atheist

A few of my favorites:

“Jesus as a ‘son of God’ is just as suspect as all other ancient ‘sons of God’ whose mothers were impregnated by a God. This was common in the era Christianity arose in, and Christianity simply adopted the god-man motif.”

“If Jesus’s purpose was ‘to die’ for humanity, it would have made no difference how he died. He could have died of smallpox or a fever or from slipping on ice.”

“Since most people who ever lived have never been Christians, most people are going to hell—and thus the devil wins the cosmic battle.”

“The heavenly Father is like an earthy father who continually watches over his toddler children and allows them to handle sharp knives and then blames them and not himself when they cut themselves and each other.”

“Theists have fought fellow theists to the death for thousands of years. And yet it is inconceivable that an army of chemists should kill botanists, or that astronomers should kill geologists.”

What bothers me the most sometimes is that billions in our world are never told that there are other choices, other paths, they can freely choose.

Merry Annual Celebration of Christ(ian Privilege)!

jesus-hanukkah

Some people are really mad again.  Welcome to the Merry Season of Peace!

Oh well, here we go again with the fisticuffs over Christmas.  Aren’t we just so tired of this stuff?  I’d bet the Bethlehem Baby would be vacationing in Syria about now (something to think about).

It seems that some believe they’re Not Allowed to say “Merry Christmas” anymore.  They don’t get to see “Merry Christmas” plastered all over Walmart and LBJ (Little Baby Jesus) isn’t swaddled at every courthouse and public school.  Outrage!

What these irritable folks are really mad about is that We Aren’t a Christian Country (anymore. . .or so they say).  You know, back in those golden days of slave-holding, native american-slaughtering and women-can’t-vote times.  Yes, we sure miss those Christian America Days.

We need a Savior. . .

Oh good, here he comes now!

Our self-proclaimed Christian-in-Chief, just before he gets the chance to open the White House Casino, claims he’s going to make Christmas Great Again.

Hey, Believe Him! (why?  because he says so).

In Michigan, Mr. Trumpery was unhappy he didn’t see “Merry Christmas” in stores, so he proclaimed,

“They’re going to start putting up ‘Merry Christmas,'” he pledged.

Remember what he said at Un-Liberty University back in January:
“When was the last time you saw “Merry Christmas?”  You don’t see it anymore. They want to be politically correct. If I’m president, you will see “Merry Christmas” in department stores, believe me, believe me.”

Here’s what’s always irked me about this fake outrage.  No one. . .no one, says you can’t say “Merry Christmas” to anyone.  That’s plain and simple nonsense.  And, if you want your special holiday advertisement in public space, you’ll have to make equal room for other holidays and other community messages.  Isn’t fairness a virtue of faith?  Well, at least we can be grateful it’s an American Value.

The Annual “Celebration” of Christian Privilege.

A great time to avoid the Religious Correctness and take a walk in the woods!

The Art of Nesting

We were going to visit a church this Sunday morning, but on such a clear and chilly day it seemed best to take a walk around our local lake.  My wife spotted this little nest.  An appropriate symbol of this season of nesting for many of us.

A true work of art!